Friday, July 31, 2009

Poems for Enchanted Dolls #6 (French and English)

This poem came to me in a podcast called Easy French Poetry. I recommend the series very highly if you want to improve your French comprehension, as the Parisienne narrator always speaks "slowly, clearly and using everyday vocabulary." It is a real pleasure to hear her read and discuss interesting poems. This one is so EDesque--especially if the ED is Fern!




 Elle était Déchaussée

Elle était déchaussée, elle était décoiffée,
Assise, les pieds nus, parmi les joncs penchants;
Moi qui passais par là, je crus voir une fée,
Et je lui dis : Veux-tu t'en venir dans les champs?
Elle me regarda de ce regard suprême
Qui reste à la beauté quand nous en triomphons,
Et je lui dis : Veux-tu, c'est le mois où l'on aime,
Veux-tu nous en aller sous les arbres profonds?
Elle essuya ses pieds à l'herbe de la rive ;
Elle me regarda pour la seconde fois,
Et la belle folâtre alors devint pensive.
Oh ! comme les oiseaux chantaient au fond des bois!
Comme l'eau caressait doucement le rivage!
Je vis venir à moi, dans les grands roseaux verts,
La belle fille heureuse, effarée et sauvage,
Ses cheveux dans ses yeux, et riant au travers.


Translation:

Her shoes were pulled off, her hair undone,
She was sitting barefoot among the leaning rushes;
As I passed by, I thought I had seen a fairy,
And asked her: would you like to go for a stroll in the fields?
She looked at me with this supreme look
That beauty bares in all her glory,
And I said, "Would you like – since it’s the month of love –
Would you like to go with me under the dense forest?
She wiped her feet on the grass of the bank;
She looked at me a second time,
And the playful beauty then turned pensive.
Oh, how the birds sang in the depths of the woods!
How gently the water caressed its banks!
I saw come to me, through the tall green reeds,
The beautiful girl, happy, frightened and wild,
Her hair in her eyes, and laughing through it.

Poem by Victor Hugo; translation from www.frenchtoday.com; photo of Fern by Monika Viktoria.

4 comments:

thelonglostwoods said...

*gasp* That was such an amazing poem (i just read it in English, I'm hopeless at French) But I LOVE that last paragraph OH MY GOODNESS hahaha.. that will be my fern.. wild and pretty and barefoot and hair in her face and laughing heee : D
It does suit Kia perfectly though too!!

Paiva said...

It made me think of Fern too! Maybe when she's home with you, you would take a picture of her for me to put in this post instead of Kia. I love Kia too, but I can find another poem for her.

thelonglostwoods said...

Oooh I'd love to : D I can't wait to have her frolicking in the forest (garden)

Kia needs one about a waterspirit.. a kelpie or a nymph, I'm sure Mr. Yeats has one about a beautiful but dangerous water sprite : P

Anonymous said...

Fern is perfect for that poem! Reminds me of being a young girl and running around barefoot in the woods. This poem gives me lovely images in my mind.
Lilithskyblue