Sleep preceded by Saying Poetry

Sleep preceded by Saying Poetry

by Jacques Roubaud

Translated by Matthew B. Smith

Edited by Cole Swensen

Published by: Fence Books

Imprint: La Presse

96 Pages, 6.00 x 8.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781944380090
  • Published: January 2021


These restless poems meditate on sleep, night, darkness, and silence. And on sleeplessness, on waking up in the middle of the night, and on silence interrupted. Making tight loops and insistent returns, the words split and dissolve into silence, just as everything falls quiet and still, just as sleep begins to wash over you—when the light comes on, or the faucet drips, or a branch scratches the window. A slightly different pattern emerges as the words are reassembled, one with its own unique pattern of interruptions. Saying Poetry is a brilliant reflection on this state of distraction, which, Roubaud suggests, is essential to poetry.