Translator's notes

NOTHING PREVENTS OTHER BIRDS

By ARIANE DREYFUS

I think it's important to try and evoke the style of a poem, as well as its content, especially where those two things support each other. Ariane Dreyfus' poem looks casually written on the surface, but is different on reflection. Just as the young girl is determined to behave according to her own lights, the poem follows its own conventions in grammar and punctuation with equal determination, once they are established on the page. The vocabulary is matter-of-fact but manoeuvred into being something other, for example, and the punctuation at the end of lines is resisted until the end of the poem.

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