This is a version of a famous poem by Mallarme called 'Brise Marine'

Sea Wind



It’s a sad creature I’m afraid the body
all the classics – every book that stands steady
I on my shelves I’ve read them through but only
to make this wish – oh to walk to the edge of the sea
and watch stints skittering along the tideline
then scattering up and beyond into the sky!
not a thing – not the gardens of mouldy chateaus
wet and glaucous in her eyes –
not a thing no one will stop me I’ve got to go
down to the wild sea – I tell you not nights
crossing blank pages under my desklamp
– not that desert wild or the sigh
of a dumpy girl breastfeeding her child
will stop me booking a berth on some tramp
steamer heaving its rust toward the tropics

– I’ll wave my snotrag from the deck sick
of stroking my own boredom – by the saltstained smokestack
let me dream of wind and wrecks!

from The Road to Inver: Translations, Versions and Imitations 1975-2003 (Faber, 2004), copyright © Tom Paulin 2004, used by permission of the author and the publishers.

Tom Paulin in the Poetry Store

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.