The Broken Bell

The Broken Bell


I like, winter nights, to find in a heat lamp
That beats and fumes, old memories
Rising in the banging
Of church bells through snow spray.

Blessed be the bell of liberty
That, ancient, keeps trying to ring,
Tossing out his faithful cry
Like an old soldier in his bunker

On the eve of battle. My soul’s broken,
And when I want songs of trouble,
It often happens that his voice weakens

Like the death rattle of a forgotten man
By a lake of blood, under a pile of the dead,
Who dies, without moving, in struggle.

(after Baudelaire’s “La Cloche Fêlée”)

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