Reduplications Reduplicated

Andrea Cohen
p. 25 “Blizzard”


All night plows plow.
Snows snow. Lovers

somewhere somehow love.

Reminds me of Émile Nelligan “Soir d’hiver” which begins:

Ah! comme la neige a neigé !
Ma vitre est un jardin de givre.

in Poésies complètes 1896-1899 (Bibliothèque Québécoise, 1989).

I have struggled since my undergraduate days (I fondly recall Mme (Collette) Tonge‘s classes in translation) to capture the nuances of the French reduplications. Over the years I have tried “o how the white has whitened” which sounds like a detergent commercial. I tried to cleave closely to the verb with “o how the snow has snowed” but this creates an attribution of agency that is absent, I believe, in the French. Now with Andrea Cohen before me and understanding the power of the repeated “n” I offer:

o how the snow has whitened
a garden frosts my window

I hope Mme Tonge would be proud.

And so for day 2782

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