Haiku : “The pear tree in bloom…

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Unable to perceive the shape of you…

Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me.

Your presence fills my eyes with your love.

It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere.

 

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https://blogs.loc.gov/catbird/2018/03/who-wrote-the-poem-at-the-end-of-the-shape-of-water/

 

PS :

It’s disturbing : I always hated, more or less, Guillermo Del Toro’s movies. Pan’s Labyrinth is a real shame, Pacific Rim is just boring, and Crimson Peak ridiculous. But The Shape of Water was a cool smart little movie (great actors, great music, great ideas). The last words put me in an awe…

How to translate Mallarmé’s poem Apparition in English and realize…

There are maybe four great French poets of this time : Verlaine, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and… Mallarmé.

Mallarmé’s poetry is haughty, “learned”, puzzling, abstract. Thus, it’s a game for the poetry lover – and impossible to translate properly!

Here’s the end of Apparition :

Qui jadis, sur mes beaux sommeils d’enfant gâté
Passait, laissant toujours de ses mains mal fermées
Neiger de blancs bouquets d’étoiles parfumées.

I found this translation :

Who, in the blissful dreams of my happy childhood
Used to hover above me sprinkling from her gentle hands
Snow-white clusters of perfumed stars.

Okey, but no… It should be more like…

Who, long ago, along my spoiled child lovely sleeps
Was passing, always letting, from her improperly closed hands,
Snow some bouquets white of perfumed stars.

As always, translation poetry is a mess, and with this guy it’s worse, because… even in French we’re not sure!

  • Enfant gâté means spoiled child, but it’s ALSO a positive happy thing, it can be “overly happy childhood” (mmmh maybe it’s the same in English?).
  • And here, sprinkling sounds wrong to me. She doesn’t “sprinkle”, but, as her hands are “mal fermées” (“incompletely closed”, but on purpose, right?), she from her hands lets perfumed stars… snow.
  • The color white must be placed after the word in French : “un bouquet blanc”. If you put it before, you sound “poetic”, which made me write “a bouquet white”. How does it sound?

Ahhh, have fun, thanks for reading!

I added Mallarmé painted by Manet, his friend – who could perfectly paint him academically, but chose, I suppose, to show something else…

Apparition

La lune s’attristait. Des séraphins en pleurs
Rêvant, l’archet aux doigts, dans le calme des fleurs
Vaporeuses, tiraient de mourantes violes
De blancs sanglots glissant sur l’azur des corolles.
— C’était le jour béni de ton premier baiser.
Ma songerie aimant à me martyriser
S’enivrait savamment du parfum de tristesse
Que même sans regret et sans déboire laisse
La cueillaison d’un Rêve au coeur qui l’a cueilli.
J’errais donc, l’oeil rivé sur le pavé vieilli
Quand avec du soleil aux cheveux, dans la rue
Et dans le soir, tu m’es en riant apparue
Et j’ai cru voir la fée au chapeau de clarté
Qui jadis sur mes beaux sommeils d’enfant gâté
Passait, laissant toujours de ses mains mal fermées
Neiger de blancs bouquets d’étoiles parfumées.

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“Crosswords”

I spy on with my little eye on :

It’s a young couple, married since lessthan ten years.

Saturday night

After dinner, he washes things in the kitchen in a fever

He has something in mind He’s embarrassed He’s turned on

She is on the sofa with a crosswords magazine

She yawns a bit and she yawns again deeper

Here he is he sits next to her on his bent knee

He’s on her side and a little above her

Trying now to help her – with the crosswords

But inside he has something in mind an elesextricity it is

Exciting images flow inside him he can’t stop them

Belly, movements, dance, propositions, smiles

He thus doesn’t know what to do with his own arms, hands

Breathing louder hidden

Having to find a balance between genuine tenderness

(a hand over her shoulder and he should have put some music here)

and genuine horniness

(but not toofar not toofast because he thinks

she’ll beangry she’ll sayno, she’ll say unnodding :

“I’m tired”… “Not today”)

Therefore he asks himself where to put his ownhands

Hands in her hair seems awkward : normally he is not “this” tender, right?

Hand on her thigh could be dangerous triggering a nogesture, a closing

He needs to be on the exact border, between tenderness and his own need of

Belly, legs, movements, dance, propositions, smiles

She is like a weirdbomb for him

A dreamycomplex mechanism to put kindnesscoins in, delicately…

“Try this word, honey : g-e-n-u-i-n-e”

Hey it works! Bravo!

She smiles and writes the word andbut yawns and reyawns deeper

He’s embarrassed

Stares at nothing then yawns too

“Let’s go to bed”

(he’ll try there

kindly)

…Would I want to date her today if I had never met her?
…Would I want to date him today if I had never met him?

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“I spy… with my little eye… an anted ant & a dotless ladybug…”

I spy…

with my little eye…

 

an anted ant & a dotless ladybug,

a thoughtful dragonfly,

a cannon & an adorable farmer,

and a splendid rose, who’s alone…

 

Ant on leg is like a part of her other – henceforth, they’re one, forever.

Ladybug is one of her kind : her dots are in her mind.

Cannon has wheels, moves, loves and will protect headscarfed lady.

Dragonfly likes the soft clouds, today – she smiles and flies to the sky!

Rose doesn’t watch the grey wall neither the death around : she is happy and all pretty.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

JP

 

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