The Frog by Francis Ponge

Leonard Durso

When rain like metal tips bounces off the sodden pastures, an amphibious dwarf, an Ophelia with empty sleeves, barely as large as a fist, rises at times from around the poet’s feet, and then hurtles herself into the nearest pool.
Let this nervous one flee. How beautiful her legs are. A glove impermeable to water envelops her body. Barely flesh at all, her long muscles in their elegance are neither animal nor fish. In order to escape from my fingers, the virtue of fluid allies in her with the battle of the life force. She puffs, widely goitered. . .And this heart that beats so strongly, the wrinkly eyelids, the old woman’s mouth, move me to set her free.

translated by Robert Bly

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