The Music Room

Marilyn Hacker

Translated from French
by Marilyn Hacker

As for the parquet, it’s in a fishbone pattern:
Each square made of four other
Squares whose planks seem to pursue
Each other, and the walls are covered with
Mahogany and leather. From here, they watched
The factory, they were served éclairs, they played
Beethoven, planing down his ironies,
And when it was all closed up police were posted
Here for thirty years. No one comes anymore,
The Pleyel is shot to hell
And the doctor adds that with one good heat
Wave, there’ll be fourteen less of his
Old geezers in town, at fifteen hundred
Francs apiece a year, you can add that up fast enough.

HÉDI KADDOUR was born in Tunisia in 1945,
but has lived in France since childhood. He has published three
books of poems with Gallimard: La Fin des vendanges (1989),
Jamais une ombre simple (1994), and Passage au Luxembourg
(2000), as well as three books with smaller publishers, and a collection
of essays on poetry, L’Emotion impossible, with Le Temps
qu’il fait in 1994. He teaches literature, drama, and creative writing
in Lyon, and writes a theater column. Other poems of his, in Marilyn
Hacker’s translation, have appeared in APR, Paris Review, Poetry
, and Verse, among others.

Work that appears on the KR web site is from The
Kenyon Review
and all applicable copyright restrictions apply.

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