September 27th, 2001

caillebotte_man at his window

Tasty French Symbolism

I was going to post this early this morning, but Sluggo became cranky and crash prone again. So I will try it now. This is by Stephane Mallarme, who is unlinked on my interests list. *hint, hint*


PETIT AIR

I


Somehow a solitude
With neither swan nor quay
Surveys its desuetude
With the glance I turned away

Here from the vainglory
Too remote for touch
Bejeweling many a heaven
With the opulence of dusk

But traces languorously
As snowy linnen doffed
Such fugitive bird alongside
You exultant one in the surf

To plunge were to become
Your naked jubilation.



PETIT AIR

II


Inexorably bound
As my hope launching high
To shatter there lost
In fury and silence,

Voice strange to the grove
Or by no echo trailed,
The bird in life never
Another time heard.

The weird musician,
The one who leaves in doubt
If from my breast or his
The wilder sob broke out,

May he tear himself away
On some path to stay!
caillebotte_man at his window

Doh!

I just had to correct a really stupid spelling error on my previous post. (Typed "brole" for "broke.") And, while I'm at it, I might as well say that I would like to find another translation of that poem. This one (by Kate Flores) is okay, but I suspect that there are others out there that might be better. Good translations of Mallarme are hard to come by. If anybody knows of one, please let me know.
(Too bad I didn't learn French when I had the time- and the memory capacity.)