Little former steps on the present-day stairs

A followup to Quelle est cette façon / D’être et d’avoir été ? – in that I found a translation of that and a related piece in Selected Poems and Reflections on the Art of Poetry translated by George Bogin (SUN, 1985). First L’enfant et la riviere – The Child and the River (French in the other post):

From his riverbank
Childhood watches us flowing:
“What is this river
Where my feet get wet,
These magnified boats,
These unveiled reflections,
This confusion
Where I recognize myself,
What is this business
Of being and of having been?”

And I who cannot reply
Turn myself into a dream
in order to pass by
The feet of a shadow.

And the related poem, L’enfant et les escaliers – The Child and the Stairs:

You whom I hear running up and down the stairs of the house
Hiding your face from me and even the rest of yourself
When I come to the bannister,
Aren’t you my childhood frequenting my favorite places,
You who move away with difficulty from your former tenant?
I recognize who you are because of your invisible way, so to speak,
Of prowling around me when no one is watching
And running away like someone who ought not to be seen with another.
Very well, I won’t say that I’ve been able to recognize you,
Buy you must also keep our secret, low sound a hundred times familiar
Of little former steps on the present-day stairs.

Toi que j’entends courir dans les escaliers de la maison
Et qui me caches ton visage et même le reste du corps,
Lorsque je me montre à la rampe,
N’es-tu pas mon enfance qui fréquente les lieux de ma préférence,
Toi qui t’éloignes difficilement de ton ancien locataire.
Je te devine à ta façon pour ainsi dire invisible
De rôder autour de moi lorsque nul ne nous regarde
Et de t’enfuir comme quelqu’un qu’on ne doit pas voir avec un autre.
Fort bien, je ne dirai pas que j’ai pu te reconnaître,
Mais garde aussi notre secret, rumeur cent fois familière
De petits pas anciens dans les escaliers d’à présent.

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