One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine: A Bilingual Edition by Paul Verlaine, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine: A Bilingual Edition

One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine: A Bilingual Edition

by Paul Verlaine
     
 

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French poet Paul Verlaine, a major representative of the Symbolist Movement during the latter half of the nineteenth century, was one of the most gifted and prolific poets of his time. Norman Shapiro's superb translations display Verlaine's ability to transform into timeless verse the essence of everyday life and make evident the reasons for his renown in France

Overview

French poet Paul Verlaine, a major representative of the Symbolist Movement during the latter half of the nineteenth century, was one of the most gifted and prolific poets of his time. Norman Shapiro's superb translations display Verlaine's ability to transform into timeless verse the essence of everyday life and make evident the reasons for his renown in France and throughout the Western world.

Editorial Reviews

Genevieve Abravanel
The strength of this selection lies not only in its sweep, but in its delicate attention to each poem. Shapiro's unique translations of this whimsical, agonized music are more than adequate to bring the multifarious Verlaine to new generation of English speakers.
Harvard Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226853451
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
11/28/2000
Edition description:
1
Pages:
309
Sales rank:
1,208,550
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt


One Hundred and One Poems



A Bilingual Edition


By Paul Verlaine


University of Chicago Press



Copyright © 2003


University of Chicago
All right reserved.


ISBN: 0-226-85345-4





Chapter One


Nevermore

Allons, mon pauvre coeur, allons, mon
vieux complice
,
Redresse et peins a neuf tous tes arcs
triomphaux;
Brule un encens ranci sur tes autels d'or
faux;
Seme de fleurs les bords beants du
precipice;
Allons, mon pauvre coeur, allons, mon
vieux complice!


Pousse a Dieu ton cantique, o chantre
rajeuni;
Entonne, orgue enroue, des Te Deum
splendides;
Vieillard premature, mets du fard sur tes
rides;
Couvre-toi de tapis mordores, mur jauni;
Pousse a Dieu ton cantique, o chantre
rajeuni.

Sonnez, grelots; sonnez, clochettes; sonnez,
cloches!
Car mon reve impossible a pris corps, et je
l'ai
Entre mes bras presse: le Bonheur, cet aile
Voyageur qui de l'Homme evite les
approches,
-Sonnez, grelots; sonnez, clochettes;
sonnez, cloches!

Le Bonheur a marche cote a cote avec moi;
Mais la FATALITE ne connait point de
treve:
Le ver est dans le fruit, le reveil dans le
reve,
Et le remords est dansl'amour: telle est la
loi.
-Le Bonheur a marche cote a cote avec
moi.

From Poemes saturniens (1866)


Nevermore

Come, my poor heart, come, old friend true
and tried,
Repaint your triumph's arches, raised anew;
Smoke tinsel altars with stale incense; strew
Flowers before the chasm, gaping wide;
Come, my poor heart, come, old friend true
and tried
.

Cantor revivified, sing God your hymn;
Hoarse organ-pipes, intone Te Deums
proud;
Make up your aging face, youth wrinkle-browed;
Bedeck yourself in gold, wall yellow-dim;
Cantor revivified, sing God your hymn.

Ring, bells; peal, chimes; peal, ring, bells
large and small!
My hopeless dream takes shape: for
Happiness-
Here, now-lies clutched, embraced in my
caress;
Winged Voyager, who shuns Man's every
call;
-Ring, bells; peal, chimes; peal, ring, bells
large and small!

Happiness once walked side by side with
me;
But DOOM knows no reprieve, there's no
mistaking:
The worm is in the fruit; in dreaming,
waking;
In loving, mourning. And so must it be.
-Happiness once walked side by side with
me.

* * *


Clair de lune

Votre ame est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et
bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs deguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire a leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mele au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rever les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les
marbres.

From Fetes galantes (1869)


Moonlight

Your soul is like a landscape fantasy,
Where masks and Bergamasks, in charming
wise,
Strum lutes and dance, just a bit sad to be
Hidden beneath their fanciful disguise.

Singing in minor mode of life's largesse
And all-victorious love, they yet seem quite
Reluctant to believe their happiness,
And their song mingles with the pale
moonlight,

The calm, pale moonlight, whose sad
beauty, beaming,
Sets the birds softly dreaming in the trees,
And makes the marbled fountains, gushing,
streaming-
Slender jet-fountains-sob their ecstasies.


* * *


"Il pleure dans mon coeur ..."

II pleut doucement sur la ville.
Arthur Rimbaud

Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui penetre mon coeur?

O bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un coeur qui s'ennuie
O le chant de la pluie!

Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce coeur qui s'ecoeure.
Quoi! nulle trahison? ...
Ce deuil est sans raison.

C'est bien la pire peine
De ne savoir pourquoi
Sans amour et sans haine
Mon coeur a tant de peine!

From Romances sans paroles (1874)


"Like city's rain, my heart ..."

The rain falls gently on the town.
Arthur Rimbaud

Like city's rain, my heart
Rains teardrops too. What now,
This languorous ache, this smart
That pierces, wounds my heart?

Gentle, the sound of rain
Pattering roof and ground!
Ah, for the heart in pain,
Sweet is the sound of rain!

Tears rain-but who knows why?-
And fill my heartsick heart.
No faithless lover's lie? ...
It mourns, and who knows why?

And nothing pains me so-
With neither love nor hate-
A simply not to know
Why my heart suffers so.

* * *


A Charles Baudelaire

Je ne t'ai pas connu, je ne t'ai pas aime,
Je ne te connais point et je t'aime encor
moins:
Je me chargerais mal de ton nom diffame,
Et si j'ai quelque droit d'etre entre tes
temoins,

C'est que, d'abord, et c'est qu'ailleurs, vers
les Pieds joints
D'abord par les clous froids, puis par l'elan
pame
Des femmes de peche-desquelles o tant
oints,
Tant baises, chreme fol et baiser affame!-

Tu tombas, tu prias, comme moi, comme
toutes
Les ames que la faim et la soif sur les routes
Poussaient belles d'espoir au Calvaire
touche!

-Calvaire juste et vrai, Calvaire ou, donc,
ces doutes,
Ci, ca, grimaces, art, pleurent de leurs
deroutes.
Hein? mourir simplement, nous, hommes
de peche.

From Liturgies intimes (1892)


For Charles Baudelaire

I do not know you now, or like you, nor
Did I first know or like you, I admit.
It's not for me to furbish and restore
Your name: if I take up the cause for it,

It's that we both have known the exquisite
Joys of two feet together pressed: His, or
Our whores'! He, nailed; they, swooning in
love's fit,
Madly anointed, kissed, bowed down
before!

You fell, you prayed. And so did I, like all
Those souls whom thirst and hunger,
yearningly,
Shining with hope, urged on to Calvary!

-Calvary, righteous, where-here, there-our fall,
In art-contorted doubts, weeps its chagrin.
A simple death, eh? we, brothers in sin.

(Continues...)







Excerpted from One Hundred and One Poems
by Paul Verlaine
Copyright © 2003
by University of Chicago.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are saying about this

John Hollander
Never before has this centrally important French poet been so elegantly and powerfully translated.

Meet the Author

Norman R. Shapiro is a professor of Romance languages and literatures at Wesleyan University. Among his many translations are Four Farces by Georges Feydeau, which was nominated for a National Book Award, The Fabulists French: Verse Fables of Nine Centuries, named Distinguished Book of the Year by the American Literary Translators' Association, and Charles Baudelaire: Selected Poems from Les Fleurs du mal, the last published by the University of Chicago Press.

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