Sardines in Oil (Trot)

Sardines à l'huile fine sans têtes et sans arêtes.
Sardines in fine oil, without heads and without spines/ bones.
-- Advertisements of the sardines-sellers, passim.

In their coffin of tin-covered iron
full of oil with stinking stench (long-lasting bad odor)
marinate decapitated
these little silver/ silvered/ silvery bodies
like the guillotined
over there in the country/ flat space of turnips!
They have seen the seas, the
gray coasts of Thule,
underneath the silver/ silvered/ silvery fogs
the enchanted North Sea . . .
Now in the tin-covered iron
and the oil with stinking stench
toxic restaurants
serve them to their clients!
But far behind the cloud
their poor little innocent/ ingénue soul (soulette? soulie?)
sings her mute song
in the Paradise-of-fish,
a fresh and lunar sea
pale like a consumptive,
the Sea of Serenity
with long silver/ silvered/ silvery reflections
where enduring the eternity
without to fear any more the
cormorants and the nets,
after their death will swim
all the good little fish! . . .

Without voices, without hands, without knees*
sardines, pray for us! . . .

* All that is necessary to pray-- Note of the Author

Intro - English - French - Trot
Animal Poetry

Translations by Ursula Whitcher, 2001