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Passage de Franklin by David Solway , Translated by Marie Frankland

Finalist for QWF Translation Prize in 2012


They must have decided
to return to the ship
despite the flaming sword
of the never-setting, the dark sword
of the never-rising, sun.
Same old story
The way back into the garden
is also the way
into the realm of the minerals
In the end
what we are looking for
will find us
“Living must be your whole occupation,”
the poet wrote. He got it right.
No, he got it half right.

Based upon the various conflicting accounts of John Franklin’s calamitous attempt to complete and map the Northwest Passage, Franklin’s Passage takes as its starting point a series of rhetorical questions posed by Henry David Thoreau in Walden: “Is not our own interior white on the chart? Is it a North-West passage around this continent, that we would find? Are these the problems which most concern mankind? Is Franklin the only man who is lost?” David Solway explores the concepts of narrative, parable, and allegory, treating the failed Expedition as an unfolding text in which the human adventure is subsumed and recorded, introducing the Expedition as a mirror in which the soul may see itself.

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French, translated from English


a French translation of Franklin's Passage



Editions du Noroit