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“The train station was no longer in service” from Polonaise

"La gare n’était plus en service"
by Emmanuel Moses
Translated from French by
Marilyn Hacker
Issue 30 Online Exclusive

La gare n’était plus en service. Des plaques de tôle obturaient les accès, portes et fenêtres. Elle avait fermé quand l’usine de chaussures voisine avait été transférée à l’étranger. Il se murmurait que l’ancien patron, maire de la petite ville, avait pesé de tout son poids pour que la compagnie des chemins de fer continue de desservir l’arrêt au moins une fois par jour. Mais lorsqu’il avait vendu son entreprise, plus personne n’avait défendu la station et l’administration ferroviaire l’avait supprimée. Lorsque le Messie viendra il rouvrira les gares fermées et les usines fermées.

The train station was no longer in service. Sheets of metal blocked off the entrances, doors and windows. It had closed when the nearby shoe factory was transferred abroad. It was whispered that the former director, also the small city’s mayor, had put all the pressure he could on the railway company to continue train service to the station at least once a day. But when he sold his business, no one was left to stand up for the station and the railway administration closed it down. When the Messiah comes, he will reopen all the abandoned trains stations and closed factories.

 

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Moses, Emmanuel. “The train station was no longer in service” from Polonaise. Paris: Flammarion, 2017

Emmanuel Moses was born in Casablanca in 1959. He spent his childhood in France, lived in Israel for fifteen years, and then returned to Paris. He is the author of fifteen collections of poems, most recently Polonaise (Flammarion, 2017), and Dieu est à l’arrêt du tram (Gallimard, 2017), and of nine novels and prose texts. He is a past recipient of the Prix Max Jacob and a Prix de poésie de l’Académie Française. He is also a translator of contemporary Hebrew fiction and poetry, notably of Yehuda Amichai.
Translator
Marilyn Hacker is the author of thirteen books of poems, including A Stranger’s Mirror (Norton, 2015)  Names (Norton, 2010) ,and Desesperanto (Norton, 2003) ,an essay collection, Unauthorized Voices ( Michigan, 2010), and fourteen collections of translations of French and Francophone poets including  Emmanuel Moses, Marie Etienne, Vénus Khoury-Ghata, Habib Tengour and Rachida Madani. DiaspoRenga,   a collaborative sequence written with  Deema Shehabi, was published in 2014. Her awards include the Lenore Marshall Prize in 1995 for Winter Numbers , two Lambda Literary Awards, the 2009 American PEN award for poetry in translation, the 2010 PEN Voelcker Award and the international Argana Prize for Poetry from the Beit as-Sh’ir/ House of Poetry in Morocco in 2011. She lives in Paris.