Investing in a Poet

by Alain Bosquet

Disappointed with reality? Rent a poet:
he is cheaper than a driver or a typist.
If he likes, he might work
for nothing.  Don’t hesitate to tell him

your age, your name, your place of birth
and other such data.  Within an hour or so,
he will have you reinvented.  Another life,
new feelings, an unknown self

that stays with you or asks for a divorce,
a virgin soul at last: what can be more refreshing
or rightful?  Of course, you shouldn’t

make ill use of him: an overdose
of poetry can become dangerous.  You should choose
a poet who works under oath.

-from No Matter No Fact, translated by Samuel Beckett.