Denise Levertov

‘Ce bruit de la mer…’

after Jules Supervielle*

That sound, everywhere about us, of the sea—
the tree among its tresses has already heard it,
and the horse dips his black body in the sound
stretching his neck as if towards drinking water,
as if he were longing to leave the dunes and become
a mythic horse in the remotest distance,
joining the flock of foam-sheep—
fleeces made for vision alone—
to be indeed the son of these salt waters
and browse on algae in the deep fields.
But he must learn to wait, wait on the shore,
promising himself someday to the waves of the open sea,
putting his hope in certain death, lowering
his head again to the grass.