NaPoWriMo Day 30: Traduction de Verlaine


J’adore la langue française…and so, when today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked us to translate, I was happy to search for a French poem to translate.  The first French poet to pop into my head was Paul Verlaine.  I love his Chanson d’Automne sung by Charles Trenet.  What I didn’t know is that Paul Verlaine was a terribly prolific writer and has hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful poems to explore.  I found one that he entitled “Green,” and because I love all things green and natural, I decided to have a go at that one.


Green by Paul Verlaine (poem found here)

Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches 
Et puis voici mon coeur qui ne bat que pour vous. 
Ne le déchirez pas avec vos deux mains blanches 
Et qu’à vos yeux si beaux l’humble présent soit doux.

 J’arrive tout couvert encore de rosée 
Que le vent du matin vient glacer à mon front. 
Souffrez que ma fatigue à vos pieds reposée 
Rêve des chers instants qui la délasseront.

Sur votre jeune sein laissez rouler ma tête 
Toute sonore encore de vos derniers baisers ; 
Laissez-la s’apaiser de la bonne tempête, 
Et que je dorme un peu puisque vous reposez.


Green by Paul Verlaine

Here are fruit, flowers, leaves and branches
and here also is my heart that beats only for you.
Don’t tear it with your two white hands
and may my humble present seem sweet to your  beautiful eyes.

I arrive still covered in dew
that the morning wind froze on my forehead
Permit my fatigue to rest at your feet
to dream of precious moments that will soothe it

On your young breast let my head roll
still ringing from your recent kisses
Let it be calmed after the good tempest
so that I might sleep a little since you are resting.



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