Indran Amirthanayagam

Sylvie Poisson

Under; At your window; Sylvie Poisson, translated by Indran Amirthanayagam


sous nos pas
la terre agonisait

sous un genou
un homme mourait

sous l’abus des pouvoirs
les démocraties suffoquaient

tout ce qui restait de nos certitudes
avait filé entre nos doigts

l’humanité est sous respirateur

comment redonner au monde
un souffle
des ailes



under our steps
the earth dying

under a knee
a man dying

under power’s abuses
democracies suffocated

what remains of certainty
slipped from our fingers

humanity under a respirator

how to give back to the world
a breath


À ta fenêtre

à ta fenêtre
rien de changé
le ciel ignore
la catastrophe microscopique qui se déploie

à ta fenêtre
le grand érable ton refuge
s’étire au-delà de tes rêves

sa sève inlassable
comme une lumière

ses bourgeons neufs se déplieront bientôt

à ta fenêtre
la vie ne doute pas de ses recommencements


At your window

at your window
nothing has changed
the sky ignores
the microscopic catastrophe spreading

at your window
the great maple your refuge
stretches beyond your dreams

its unceasing sap
a light

new buds will unfurl soon

at your window
life does not doubt its rebirth.


Indran Amirthanayagam writes poetry in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. He is the author of twenty three books of poetry and poetry in translation, including Origami: Selected Poems of Manuel Ulacia, Blue Window (Dialogos Books) The Migrant States (Hanging Loose Press 2020),Coconuts on Mars (Paperwall, 2019), Uncivil War (Mawenzi House (formerly TSAR), Canada, 2013), and the Paterson Prize-winning The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose, 1993). Amirthanayagam is a 2020 Foundation for Contemporary Arts fellow in poetry, and a past fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts, the US/Mexico Fund for Culture, and the MacDowell Colony. He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly; curates the reading series Poetry at Beltway Editions, and publishes poetry books with Sara Cahill Marron at Beltway Editions. He serves on the Board of DC-ALT. His blog is

Sylvie Poisson is a poet from Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada. She has also been an occupational therapist and volunteer in an international collaborative organization. She has three grown children. Passionate about literature since childhood, she has participated over the years un several training courses and writing workshops. She has published in several collective publications and literary reviews. Sylvie animated writing workshops and took part in various poetic performances. She has been a guest at the Trois-Rivières International Poetry Festival since 2015. She has published two poetry books: “Les clartés offertes” in 2013 and “Les rives accordées” in 2018.