The Last Butterfly

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 150th birthday.

Rosemonde Gérard
1871 – 1953


When the cricket no longer sings
And one is faced with the autumn,
One is surprised, on some grey morning,
To see the last butterfly wings.

More gold, azure, or scarlet,
Its colour evenly spread;
The ash found around it
Lost in the earth’s sandy bed.

Whence, and through which door, does it come?
Is this, in the dead leaf of autumn,
The only butterfly living,

Or, dead, midst living snow,
The slight, transparent shadow
Of a butterfly from spring, long ago?


Translation by David Paley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.