Angèle Paoli translated by Martyn Crucefix

Angele Paoli


Angèle Paoli is a Corsican poet, novelist and translator. She runs the on-line review Terres de femmes She was winner of the Aristotle European Prize for French Poetic Criticism in 2013. Recent publications include La Montagne couronnée (2014), Les Feuillets de la Minotaure (2015), the novel, Artemesia allo specchio (2018), and translations of Luigia Sorrentino.

Martyn Crucefix’s  recent publications include Cargo of Limbs (Hercules Editions, 2019), These Numbered Days, translations of poems by Peter Huchel (Shearsman, 2019), which won the Schlegel-Tieck Translation prize 2020, and The Lovely Disciplines (Seren, 2017). Currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at The British Library, he blogs on poetry, translation and teaching at

NB: You can access the original version by clicking on the title. [Ed.]




Dream of glass
xxxxxxxof pomegranate
xxxxxxxof tigers of honeybee
a girl’s dream

in her glass heaven

fallen asleep

pearls spilled
to the brink of horizons
dream dream and dream


white messaline elephant
starts up above her
tigers ravenous in heat
scrambling to the dream
dream of beautyxxxxxxxxxxxxfallen asleep

steel-hard tigers in waves
spat from the jaws
of a scorpionfish – the poisonous –
dream of interlocoupling

desire for delirium
desire desire for delirium on delirium
of desire for desirilirium
of delict of delictesire
desire of delirium

and all seeds of blood
of the fruit opened proclaiming
the sacrifice

sacrifice at sunrise
earth sea and sky


the universe cracks
a spur dug
into white flesh
offered up to its destiny

a honeybee
at the ripened fruit

half-finished little thing taken
into the snare
of its shadow

dream of claws and canines
tongues reddened with blood
gaping sex of the dwarf pomegranate
apple seed
outstretched prey
to the upright omphalos

she dreams of another life
alerted by fangs

open-mouthed wound
to wildcat cruelty



the miniscule bee
harassing the pomegranate
chaste girl
cut adrift from her dream
pomegranate juice opening
to the delirium
of the tigers
fangs bared to the prey
blood mixed
with the blue of horizons

the beast with its claw-
points anchored into the flesh
defenceless sex laid out
as an offering
gulped back cry vanished
rid of words

Roar – rrrrrr
xxxxxxxxRoar – rrrrrr
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxRoar – rrrrrr


they run
the dark celebrants
of a stone temple concealed
among the mountain steeps
columns of jade giving themselves up
to the eastern solstice
they run they fling themselves down

temple open to the mysteries

down to the infernal riverbanks
she embarks on them now
against the flow
face blank swept
of any inkling

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxShrinking back



she dreams dreams of ice
in the desertion of the light
icy tawny tigers of snow
leaping through the air
dreaming of embers
ivory flesh
within reach of gaping jaws

an island floats far out to sea
the river girl
seeds of the black moonflower
played with like beads
beans given up to its bells
like pearls
the messaline elephant
stretches its stilt-like legs
far above beauty

fallen into sleep

to weightlessness


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