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Josaphat-Robert Large

Josaphat-Robert Large

Josaphat-Robert Large (born November 15, 1942 in Jérémie, Haïti) is a Haitian-American poet, novelist and art critic. His novel Les terres entourées de larmes [Shore surrounded with tears] won the prestigious Prix littéraire des Caraïbes (Caribbean literary Prize) in 2003. He is a member of " La Société des Gens de Lettres de France" (Society of French intellectuals), of the "Association des Écrivains de langue française" (Association of writers of French origin) and of the PEN Club America. Josaphat-Robert Large's work is becoming more and more important in the French literary world. The Society of French and francophone teachers of America has organized two colloquium on his literary production (specially his novels), one at Florida International University in 2001 and one at Fordham University in 2006. 


                   Five poems written by Josaphat-Robert Large

         Translated by the author with the help of Professor Thomas Spear


The country throws itself into the morning

Tossing the anchor of its miseries

Crumbs of dreams scatter in the air

As the sun lifts villages from the abyss of time

Huts troll dramatically in front of us

Trolling lights dance crazily along the shores

And at the tips of the waves

Only a pelican knits the carpet of space

Dew contours the pistil of a rose

We are here waiting for our ration of hours  

Our share of minutes

Stuck on the horizon of our painful island


The yesterdays finally return

Those of our seasons of romances

Those with windows opening on the contours of our lives

A guitar keeps playing for the stars

Sidereal sparkling

Notes that invest the curves of space

Time restructures its moments

As the past slides around its sources



Words will illuminate the road of winds

With hundreds of fisherman lanterns

But where should we go on this island of smoke

The condensation of the fog is such

It slackens the rhythm of time

Heat keeps eating the space

In this upside down atmosphere

As existing unwinds depending on luck

A glow of spring reignites the deepness of our hopes



We cannot reorder our dreams

Neither reach the deepness of their sources

They emerge from nowhere

With currents of reflections

They spread

How can we account for their diversified wonders

Watching helplessly thousands of similes in reverse

Delighted metaphors balancing up and down 

How can we reorder our dreams

When what remains around them

Are masses of shadow

Scraps of fog


Life here

Is sewn with threads of sorrow

Where suspicion and words intertwine  

And listen  

Observers of conduct

Judges of morality

From the top of your happiness

Have you ever seen children in rags of tears?




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