Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Les Planches courbes

Rate this book
Salué dès sa publication en octobre 2001 comme l'un des livres majeurs d'Yves Bonnefoy, « Les Planches courbes » s'impose en effet au sommet d'un oeuvre sans faiblesse ni reniement. Une parole qui sait magistralement faire la place du sens et du chant s'élève, à la fois affirmée et fragile, inquiète et souveraine. Les planches courbes auxquelles le titre se réfère sont celles de la barque du passeur qui tente encore une avancée entre les deux rives du fleuve, les deux rives du rêve, les deux rives de la vie.

La pluie d'été

I

Mais le plus cher mais non
Le moins cruel
De tous nos souvenirs, la pluie d'été
Soudaine, brève.

Nous allions, et c'était
Dans un autre monde,
Nos bouches s'enivraient
De l'odeur de l'herbe.

Terre,
L'étoffe de la pluie se plaquait sur toi.
C'était comme le sein
Qu'eût rêvé un peintre"

Yves Bonnefoy

138 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 15, 2001

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Yves Bonnefoy

275 books70 followers
Yves Bonnefoy (1923/6/24-2016/7/1) was a French poet and essayist. Bonnefoy was born in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, the son of a railroad worker and a teacher.

His works have been of great importance in post-war French literature, at the same time poetic and theoretical, examining the meaning of the spoken and written word. He also published a number of translations, most notably Shakespeare and published several works on art and art history, including Miró and Giacometti.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
65 (23%)
4 stars
85 (30%)
3 stars
64 (22%)
2 stars
32 (11%)
1 star
34 (12%)
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Edita.
1,286 reviews373 followers
October 8, 2022
But it also seems to me that only the voice
That hopes is real, even when unconscious
Of the laws that would belie it. Only the hand
That trembles is real, touching the promise
Of someone else's hand.
Profile Image for Steven Godin.
2,282 reviews2,150 followers
July 1, 2021

On the moss-stained
Rock the shadows
Move. Almost like nymphs
In their dance.

When a sliver of sun
Shines through, their hair
Glints as gold might do
In a somber crucible.

Life will end.
Life endures.
The same as a child, playing
With too many dreams.
Profile Image for Jerry Pogan.
976 reviews26 followers
June 11, 2022
A very good collection of poems and short poetic stories. Of the stories, my favorites were "The Curved Plank" about a small homeless boy and a giant ferryman and "Throwing Stones" about throwing stones down a ravine. Stones played a big part in the book and there were several poems about them. My favorite of those was titled simply "A Stone"
They live in the time when words were poor
In rhythms undone, meaning pulsed no more
Smoke billowed up and shrouded the flame
They feared that joy would not surprise them again

They slept and slept, by the world distressed
Memories passed through their sleep
Like boats in the fog, stoking their fires
Before they head upstream

They woke. But the grass had already turned black
Let wind be their water, and shadow their bread,
Unknowing and silence their ring
An armful of night all their fire on earth
Profile Image for Sadie June.
8 reviews
February 21, 2022
Un voyage fascinant en terre de poésie par l’un des plus grands critiques sur Charles Baudelaire. Son vers transcende la parole pour accéder au vrai. Mon poème préféré est « une voix » et le sublime vers « et puisse le ciel être notre façon d’être avec ombres et couleurs qui se déchirent... »
Profile Image for Gabrielle Danoux.
Author 28 books17 followers
August 25, 2022
Une brève note de lecture en 5 étoiles et 7 mots-clés :

#OBJETS : Omniprésence de ce concret (beaucoup de pierres), ces objets repères (« planches courbes ») auxquels le poète se rattache et donne « une voix » ; « Tout cela, mon ami,/Vivre, qui noue/Hier, notre illusion,/À demain, nos ombres. […] Foudre qui dort encore/Les traits en paix,/Souriante comme avant/Qu'il y ait langage. » (p. 33-34).
#TRADUCTEUR : le poète traduit ici le langage poétique des objets tout comme il a admirablement bien et beaucoup traduit des livres (de l'anglais, de l'italien).
#ESCHATOLOGIE : présence de l'interprétation sur l'au-delà et sur Dieu, bien que Bonnefoy soit athée.
#CONCEPT : On dit que Bonnefoy s'est beaucoup intéressé au « concept », qu'il critique, pour s'attacher au « mot ». En effet, il arrive fréquemment que le sens de mots se dérobe.
#SURRÉALISME : On en ressent encore l'influence bien après la rupture avec ce mouvement.
#PASSAGE : La question de la relation aux parents (ou à Dieu), de la transmission, du comment on grandit.
#MYTHOLOGIE : de nombreux renvois, notamment à des personnages comme Ulysse, Charon, Orphée.
Profile Image for La licorne bibliophile.
314 reviews4 followers
September 11, 2021
Un recueil de poésie contemporaine parfois en prose, parfois en ver.

Un avis tout à fait subjectif puisque nous parlons poésie. Ayant lu Les Planches courbes pour le bac de Littérature, j'en avais gardé un très mauvais souvenir. Je me demandais donc si plus de 10 ans après, mes goûts ou ma compréhension avaient pu évoluer. Malheureusement, il n'en est rien. Je suis extrêmement imperméable au style de Bonnefoy qui ne m'évoque que très peu de choses et dont je dois me fatiguer pour chercher à comprendre les poèmes. Tout au plus La maison natale sort-elle du lot. J'avoue ne pas comprendre comment l'on a pu jeter des lycéens dans une telle oeuvre. Une expérience de lecture que je ne compte pas réitérer une troisième fois!
417 reviews5 followers
October 20, 2019
J’ai beaucoup aimé les premiers poèmes dont j’ai apprécié les images, la musicalité, l’onirisme et une forme de pureté de l’élémentaire. Je n’ai pas été également touchée par tous les poèmes et recueils réunis mais peut-être était-ce dû à mon humeur, état d’esprit changeant entre mes périodes de lecture. J’ai eu la nette impression que je ne ressentais pas toujours cette poésie de la même manière, que je pouvais y être ouverte et me laisser toucher par elle à certains moments et y être plus imperméable à d’autres
Profile Image for Alicia.
8 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2020
One of my favorite books!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ plus 🥰
Profile Image for Andrew.
Author 3 books35 followers
December 8, 2007
I've only read selections of Yves Bonnefoy before I read this book, and I picked it up in the hopes of getting a fuller sense of how I felt about his work.

What I didn't count on was Hoyt Rogers putting together such a terrible translation.

Some of what Hoyt Rogers does is typical bad translation: his word choices are overly cautions, on the whole, and he's so wed to the simplest semantic meanings that the poetry in English is limp and lifeless.

Some of what Hoyt Rogers does is his own brand of bad translation. As an example, let's consider this passage from "Summer Rain." The original begins:



Mais le plus cher mais non
Le moins cruel
De tous nos souvenirs, la pluie d'été
Soudaine, brève.



And Rogers translates the passage as:



Yet the dearest
Of all our memories,
But not the least cruel: summer rain
Sudden, brief.



I have three problems with this translation, all of which are related to those first two lines:

1. The word "mais" is repeated in the first line of the original, giving the line a substantial portion of its music. Instead of choosing between "yet" or "but" ("mais" can mean either, depending on context), Rogers uses both options, destroying the music of a repeated word.

2. Rogers weakens the shift from "plus cher" (literally "most dear") to "mois cruel" (literally "least cruel") by ignoring the syntactic parallel--both use an "adjective-noun" construction. Instead, he chooses to render the first phrase as "dearest" and the second as "least cruel."

3. In French, when the first line is read by itself, it is a statment and a negation: "But the most dear but no". When the second line is added, the meaning of the first line shifts to being part of a larger statment, a statment that includes a hesitation before continuing: "But the most dear but not/ The least cruel".

By making these three poor choices, Rogers changes a stanza that speaks to uncertainty and to the production of meaning through language into a fairly direct, mildly interesting statement. In French, Bonnefoy sounds like Robert Creeley in his relationship to language. In Rogers' rendering, Bonnefoy is simple and unimaginative.

The "Translator's Note" sheds some light on Rogers' decisions. In the note, Rogers describes a meeting between him Bonnefoy while Bonnefoy was translating Yeats. Bonnnefoy feared that his translation of "Byzantium" "might have departed too drastically ffrom the semantic content of the text." Rogers that Bonnefoy's translation maintained Yeats' music while clarifying "its convoluted syntax."

Indeed, Rogers' primary concern seems to be conveying semantic content of the poems in the simplest statements possible. By doing so, Rogers changes Bonnefoy's struggle between language and meaning into a series of logical truth-statement about the natural world. A friend of mine described Rogers' translations as "a bull in a China shop." I can't think of a more accurate description.
Profile Image for Yigru Zeltil.
Author 12 books106 followers
September 28, 2014
My first Bonnefoy, probably not the Bonnefoy I should have started with. I honestly came in expecting some subtle modernism - and, well, experienced plenty of subtleties (I am sure some of them have slipped by me), but the modernist part was rather thin. For a poet that comes after Surrealism, Bonnefoy comes across as remarkably backwards-stepping and it is only the remarkable atmosphere from some poems that redeem this mishmash of rather different poems. "La voix lointaine" is the cycle that gets closest to my expectations; on the other end of the spectrum, "L'encore aveugle" made me wonder at times why did I bother to read this (let aside the musicality, which is the thing Bonnefoy seems to excel in)... The last cycle is not so bad, but it makes me want to return to Ponge. (Why was such a feeble book released from the very beginning in the NRF Poésie Gallimard collection? Oh, because Bonnefoy is a "no-risk winner" choice by now... I guess the best things French poetry can offer nowadays are (as usual?) far from the "establishment"...)
Profile Image for Frank Romagosa.
22 reviews5 followers
March 5, 2012
This book is brilliant, as a collection, as a book of poetry, as a book.
To wit: it is a marvel to have the french and the english placed verso recto across the gutter
and with ample white space.

.. that the edition announces that it is bilingual invites us to compare across the break, less to correct than to learn something about translation, to listen across language

and the poems, they are a marvel .. Bonnefoy is a poet of sound, these pages commend us to read them again and to hear them as we read them, aloud again and again.
Profile Image for Shonna Froebel.
3,663 reviews60 followers
March 6, 2016
This book of poetry, translated from the French, is my first experience with Yves Bonnefoy. The poems evoke nature and feeling and have wonderful turns of phrase. I loved the line "Our mouths besotted / With the smell of grass." Another one that caught me was "Memories passed through their sleep / Like boats in the fog, stoking their fires / Before they head upstream."
I took my time over this collection, to savor it and enjoy the word, put together so elegantly. A wonderful collection of poems.
The book includes both the French and English on facing pages.
Profile Image for Ffiamma.
1,319 reviews134 followers
May 27, 2013
"che questo mondo rimanga,che le parole non siano /un giorno questi ossami /grigi, che avranno beccato, gridando, litigando, /disperdendosi, /gli uccelli, nostra notte, /nella luce./che questo mondo rimanga /come cessa il tempo/quando si lava la piaga /del bimbo che piange.e quando si ritorna nella stanza scura si vede che dorme in pace, notte, ma luce"
Profile Image for Fekete Macska.
120 reviews4 followers
August 2, 2013
I don't like poetry. And I generally don't like the books I have to read for class.
But I read this one some years ago now, and I absolutely loved it, because the poetry lay not so much in the meaning of the words as in the sounds themselves.
One of the greatest pieces of literature I have ever read.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.