Raymond Farina

Raymond Farina

Born in 1940 in Algiers, Raymond Farina grew up in Algeria and Morocco. He moved to France with his family in 1962 and studied at University of Nancy. He taught philosophy in France, Morocco, Central African Republic and Reunion Island.

He is the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry including Les Lettres de l’Origine, Fragments d’Ithaque, Pays, Virgilianes, Anecdotes, Ces liens si fragiles, Exercices, Italiques, Une colombe une autre, Eclats de vivre. Willing, above all, to strike a balance between the lyrical flight and the concision of fragment, he explores the themes of absence, exile, loss, identity and he is attentive to all that is light and fragile, to all that exist in the way of trace, murmur and pulse. As critic Viviane Ciampi observed in her essay published by the Italian poetry journal on line “Fili d’aquilone” (n°23, 2011): “Immersed into “the gravity of real”, he feels it necessary to defend the lightness principle, this is the reason why he treats of aerial, fugitive, fragile, unimportant things: dusts, umbels, foams, butterflies, birds, clouds, pollens, ultimate but not ultimate angels and ghosts…”

His poetry has widely appeared in a variety of French journals as Arpa, La NRF, Europe, Po&sie, Poésie 97, Recours au Poème, Les Carnets d’Eucharis, Terre à Ciel and of European journals as La Revue de Belles Lettres (Geneva), Semicerchio (Florence), Pagine (Rome), Steaua (Cluj), The Prague Review (Prague), Turia (Teruel). Several of his poems appeared in the following American journals: Chelsea, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, International Poetry Review, Great River Review, Grey Sparrow Review, Osiris.

He has translated in French the work of American, Australian, Italian, Indian, Irish, Portuguese and Spanish poets (Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Fiama Hasse Pais Brandao, EE Cummings, Margherita Guidacci, Denise Levertov, Alexandre O’Neill, Ezra Pound, Giovanni Raboni, Theodor Roethke, Vittorio Sereni, Wallace Stevens, Andrea Zanzotto). His poems have been translated in English, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Corsican, Portuguese.

For an extensive bibliography please see:

Retired Professor of Philosophy, Raymond Farina lives on Reunion Island (Indian Ocean).

Susanne Dubroff resides in Hanover (New Hampshire). Her poems and translations of René Char and Rainer Maria Rilke have appeared in such journals as Portland Review (Oregon, 1983), The Harvard Review (1996), The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review (Virginia, 1996), Image (Kansas, 1996), International Poetry Review (University of North Carolina, 1998), The Sonora Review (University of Arizona, 1999), The Bitter Oleander (1999) The Mid-American Review (1999), Luna (The University of Minnesota, 1999), Plainsong (University of Western Kentucky), Sou’wester (Southern Illinois University) and most recently in Chelsea (New York), Poetry, North American Review, Paris Review and Circumference (Columbia University).

She has published four chapbooks and two full-sized books: “A Flower on a Volcano” (1980), “You & I” (1994), “Nothing Shipwrecks” (1999), “This Smoke That Carried Us: Selected Poems of René Char” (2004), “The One Remaining Star” (2008), “Saxophones were Banned in Albania (2012).


Salmons & blues
subtle regrets & lagoons

the chattering
of Carthage

its alphabet
of Kufic flowers
& acrobatic birds

the buzzing ochre
scatters its bees

comes to appease

& the blue
enters prayerfully

The walls are white
& the spirit

the gravestones

as far as
the lifeless sea

Raymond Farina
© Translation by Susanne Dubroff


“Let us see what exile is. Nothing,
at the end, but a change of place”
Seneca, De Consolatione ad Helviam, VI.

Storytellers & musicians
magicians acrobats
fictitious theater
on a fictitious street

Rattles cymbals cicadas
bruised grating
like a dry reed
a song composed of oracles

Demons reconciled
to their surroundings
behind each word

memories of the dead
where careless birds

At this moment
everything is as precise

as a tear


in a sigh

a brief shipwreck
of the soul

I have nothing
more to lose

I rule
over a vagrant
mote of dust

over delight’s
smallest sun

You are
pure speculative clouds
my final philosophy

Land of my exile
you weigh less
than a sparrow
on my ashes

Raymond Farina
© Translation by Susanne Dubroff


“You just sank to the bottom my fortune and my ship
carried away by my wishes breathe.”

Lucian of Samosata, The Ship: Or, The Wishes, 13.

Poor Adeimantos
swept away
with your madness
your ships

Swept away
those amorous dolphins
the idea of return

those sailors
stoned by the sky
in the latitudes
of the triangular Isle

Swept away
those who sang of Euripides
those who sang their children to sleep
with pre-socratic fables

Raymond Farina
© Translation by Susanne Dubroff

Published with the permission of Raymond Farina & Susanne Dubroff