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by Georges Godeau

translated from the French by Kathleen McGookey

We each have our own way of loving unhappy people.

You, you walk with him, you talk with him about his misery, together you build better days to come.

Me, I love her, I can’t do anything else.

But we must keep up our illusions. They are life.


Georges Godeau was born in 1921 in Villiers-en-Plaine, France, worked as an engineer, and published sixteen books before his death in 1999. His work won the Prix du Livre in Poitou-Charentes. Though he is widely translated into Russian and Japanese, almost none of his writings have appeared in English.

Kathleen McGookey’s first book of poems, Whatever Shines, is available from White Pine Press. More of her translations of Godeau’s work appear in Chase Park, Connecticut Review, Denver Quarterly, The Interlochen Review, Mid-American Review, Natural Bridge, Rhino, Salt Hill, and Stand. (10/2007)

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