Summer 2002 • Vol. XXIV No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2002 |

The Doctor

From the French   In the circular courtyard, trees Turn yellow, a madwoman in restraints Watches them; all at once she starts to speak As if nothing were out of the ordinary And the next day she dies Of tuberculosis, making excuses For having been such a bother. It is not necessary, says the doctor To try to calm such patients down completely They would become too bored. And he has ceased Imagining a classless society And sometimes sits in front of the municipal Bandshell, to listen to a brass band play Military marches of the Empire.

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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 International, and Verse, among others.
Marilyn Hacker is the author of twelve books of poems, most recently Names (W.W. Norton 2010), and of ten collections of poetry translated from French. She received the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation in 2009 for Marie Etienne’s King of a Hundred Horsemen. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a former editor of The Kenyon Review.

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