Pierre-Jean Jouve

The Buried

This man is in his foxhole
Buried alive;
He's barely breathing,
With his bare hands, he digs out the earth.
He listens--- the sound of the canon,
Still distant, swallowed by the earth.
He sweats, his pick ax strikes.
He calls to his buddies to be sure
That they are still alive.
They feel a strange moistness,
Like the earth oozing.
One says: We're being flooded.
--- That's better then, it'll be over faster.
But while digging, the water
Engulfs the miner's face
His lips are smeared with it:
Blood, it's blood.
[…] The earth collapses, cracking limbs,
The bloody stream runs faster,
Making the ground ever more viscous.
Soon he scratches out another matter
Spongy and wet.
The spongy matter is human matter.



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Pierre-Jean Jouve