My Recurring Dream

I often have this strange and haunting dream
Of an unknown woman I love, who loves me back
And who is, at any moment, not quite the same
Nor entirely other, who loves and understands.

And because she understands my transparent heart,
Only she alone – oh my troubles disappear,
And the beads of sweat on my pale forehead
Only she alone replenishes, with her tears.

Is she brunette, blonde or redhead? I don’t care.
Her name? All I know is that it’s soft and clear
Like those of loved ones who have long since passed.

Her gaze is like the gaze of a statue’s head.
And in her voice – distant, calm, and sad – she has
The sound of beloved voices that are dead.

Translated by Peter Jukes from Paul Verlaine’s Mon Reve Familier

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