Music of Spheres – Jean Follain

JEAN FOLLAIN 1903 – 1971
It seems nothing peculiar happens when somebody walks on a road and kicks an empty can. But here, in French poet Jean Follain, this movement, like an immobilized frame of a film, suddenly opens into the cold of the cosmos. Because it is winter, the road is frozen, the keys are iron, the shoe is pointed, and the can itself is cold, empty.

He was walking a frozen road
in his pocket iron keys were jingling
and with his pointed shoe absent-mindedly
he kicked the cylinder
of an old can
which for a few seconds rolled its cold emptiness
wobbled for a while and stopped
under a sky studded with stars.

Translated from the French by Czeslaw Milos and Robert Hass
A Book Of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry
Czeslaw Milosz