Jump to content

If you like the poems or the songs, how about the pistol?


mint
 Share

Recommended Posts

No, I didn't know that, Pat.

But here is Verlaine's il pleure dans mon coeur, perhaps his most popular poem and the subject of countless songs and readings.

Debussy's treatment is here:

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhVyDr7CM9Y[/url]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A non-literal translation I did, to try to re-create something of Verlaine's sound-world:

Tears drop in my heart

Tears drop in my heart, 

Rain falls on the town.

What is this languor

That pierces my heart?

Soft sound of the rain

On the ground and the rooves.

A vexed heart is soothed

By the song of the rain.

It cries for no reason, 

This heart sick with hurt.

Yet there’s no treason--

It grieves for no reason.

This is the worst pain --

Not to know why,

Without love, without hatred

My heart feels such pain.

and my personal favourite setting sung by my favourite French baritone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31fd3nRJgdo&html5=1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, Norman, I really do like your translation.

You know, after I heard it read a few years ago (when my ears were not as well attuned to French as it is now......NOT that my listening skills are great now), I used to think it was il pleut dans mon coeur, comme il pleut sur la ville!

Indeed, I am surprised to find some English translations that goes as "it rains in my heart as it rains on the town"!  No wonder I was confused[:(]

It wasn't till I heard it sung that I realised that it was il pleuRE[:-))]

The youtube link is very moving and I could have cried as Verlaine might have done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you liked that you may enjoy another:

En sourdine

Calmes dans le demi-jour

Que les branches hautes font,

Pénétrons bien notre amour

De ce silence profond,

Mêlons nos âmes, nos coeurs et nos sens extasiés,

Parmi les vagues langueurs des pins et des arbousiers.

Ferme tes yeux à demi,

Croise tes bras sur ton sein,

Et de ton coeur endormi

Chasse à jamais tout dessein.

Laissons nous persuader

Au souffle berceur et doux

Qui vient, à tes pieds, rider

Les ondes des gazons roux.

Et quand, solennel, le soir

Des chênes noirs tombera

Voix de notre désespoir,

Le rossignol chantera.

Muted

Tones

Calm

in the half-light

Cast by the high branches,

Allow this

deep silence

To
penetrate our love.

Dissolve

our hearts, our souls

And our enraptured senses

In the

vague listlessness

Of arbutus and pine

Half-close

your eyes, cross

Your arms on your breast;

Rid your sleepy

heart

Of all intent for ever.

Yield to the seduction

Of the soft whispers

Rippling the waves of

Russet

grass at your feet.

When solemnly the

Black oaks'

evening falls,

The Nightingale, voice

of our despair, will

sing.

The wonderful Gérard Souzay singing Fauré's

setting of the original is one of the highlights of French song for

me, and I have never heard the poem better 'declamed' even in a

straight reading:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMoos40OKaw

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A much less well-known poem which I like to think of as Rimbaud and Verlaine after the passion had gone:

Colloque

sentimental

Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé

Deux

formes ont tout à l’heure passé.

Leurs yeux sont morts

et leurs lèvres sont molles,

Et l’on entend à peine leurs

paroles.

Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé

Deux

spectres ont évoqué le passé.

– Te souvient-il de

notre extase ancienne?

– Pourquoi voulez-vous donc qu’il

m’en souvienne?

– Ton cœur bat-il toujours à mon

seul nom?

Toujours vois-tu mon âme en rêve? – Non.

Ah

! les beaux jours de bonheur indicible

Où nous joignions nos

bouches ! – C’est possible.

– Qu’il était bleu,

le ciel, et grand, l’espoir !

– L’espoir a fui, vaincu,

vers le ciel noir.

Tels ils marchaient dans les avoines

folles,

Et la nuit seule entendit leurs paroles.

I have made two versions, one of which attempts to highlight the laconic ballad feeling of the poem, and the second which is more literal and keeps the shock of the cold  change from 'tu' to 'vous'

Heart

to heart

In the lonely cold old park

Two figures

have just passed.

Their eyes are dead, their lips are

slack,

We hardly hear their words.

In the lonely cold

old park

Two ghosts evoked the past.

- Remember our

old ecstasy?

- But why remember it?

- Your heart

beats faster at my name ?

Still see me in your dreams? -

No.

Ah! the days of blissful joy

When our lips

touched ! - Perhaps.

- The sky was blue and hope was

great!

- Hope has fled, beaten, to the black sky.

They

wandered like this through the wild grass,

And

only the night heard their words.

Verion 2

Heart

to heart

In the lonely cold old park

Two figures

have just passed.

Their eyes are dead, their lips are

slack,

We hardly hear their words.

In the lonely cold

old park

Two ghosts evoked the past.

-Dost thou

recall how ecstatic we were?

-Why would you want me to think

about that ?

-Does thy heart still beat faster just

hearing my name

-Dost thou still see my Spirit in dreams?

--No.

-Oh those fine days of unspeakable bliss

-When

our mouths joined together -Perhaps.

- The sky was blue

and our hope was so great!

- Hope has fled back , beaten, to the

black sky.

They wandered thus through the wild grass

And

only the night heard their words.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for those.  I think the second version is more lyrical and I prefer it.

Now we have got on to love and loss (and it seems that the two are inextricably linked), I like Auden's Stop all the Clocks

He would have known about Verlaine and Rimbaud and he expresses his loss in a much more "anglo-saxon" manner, I think!

[url]http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/auden.stop.html[/url]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...