Robert Desnos and Kiki de Montparnasse, still from Man Ray’s L’étoile de mer, 1928. Watch the whole film here.
‘There Is a Star in the Sea’
(Pliny, Natural History, Book IX)
by Dan Chiasson
‘There is a star in the sea, and it burns up everything
it touches. Though men who walk on land deny it,
one night a star fell from the sky and landed in the sea.
It had the good sense to become a fish, but the wit
to keep its shape. It sleeps on the bottom of the sea,
but one day I’ll play a trick on it – I’ll turn the ocean
upside down! Then it will shine again, coral bluff,
rusted galleon in the night sky, and I will pray to it.’
From Dan Chiasson, Natural History and Other Poems.