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by Georges Godeau

translated from the French by Kathleen McGookey

Paradise is an island in the sun. Golden grapes ripen in the grass. Soft music floats. Everywhere, transparent beings.

In this country without roads, without cars, without offices, without factories, well-being is foreseen. It doesn’t wear itself out.

But only the soul, that little bird that lives in us which we never see, is concerned. Like God.

It is a world of substances dear to philosophers short on topics.

Maupassant said that the Invisible exists and that man doesn’t have the necessary equipment to see it.


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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