A Tribute to Christopher Middleton (1926-2015)

Related: Christopher Middleton

**White Linen
A little movement stirs the linen,
it’s in the garden, in the wind
which comes, a marvel, from the sky.
The sky is halfway still, half wild;
half it is involved with cloud,
half stepping brightly out in blue.
Already the sun has been forgotten
and all the world is making ready
to disappear into a garden
which is evening; white the linen
stirs in a gentle wind, the evening
wind, does it make a sort of linen
airily also stir in me?
I don’t believe so. Quiet night
has just become entirely sovereign.
The breeze in me now stirs no more.

Robert Walser translated by Christopher Middleton

New Directions mourns the loss of our friend, the wonderful poet and translator, Christopher Middleton.

“He is an incomparable stylist, a wry ironist, a philosopher of words. The only category in which he fits justly is that of poet."—Guy Davenport

We share the sorrow of his family, friends, readers, and admirers—and we take solace in the beautiful work he has left for us.


Christopher Middleton Credit: Bill Martin ca. 2012


Mr. Middleton's translated 'White Linen' from a facsimile Walser manuscript (illustrated here) as reproduced in Robert Walser, *Saite und Sehnsucht*, edited by Elio Fröhlich