One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine: A Bilingual Edition [NOOK Book]


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

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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 and throughout the Western world.

"Shapiro's skillfully rhymed formal translations are outstanding." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Best Book of 1999"

"Paul Verlaine's rich, stylized, widely-variable oeuvre can now be traced through his thirty years of published volumes, from 1866 to 1896, in a set of luminous new translations by Norman Shapiro. . . . [His] unique translations of this whimsical, agonized music are more than adequate to bring the multifarious Verlaine to a new generation of English speakers." —Genevieve Abravanel, Harvard Review

"Shapiro demonstrates his phenomenal ability to find new rhymes and always follows Verlaine's rhyme schemes." —Carrol F. Coates, ATA Chronicle
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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226853468
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/3/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 309
  • Sales rank: 1,357,582
  • File size: 2 MB

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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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


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

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

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

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

From Poemes saturniens (1866)


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
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
Here, now-lies clutched, embraced in my
Winged Voyager, who shuns Man's every
-Ring, bells; peal, chimes; peal, ring, bells
large and small!

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

* * *

Clair de lune

Votre ame est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et
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

From Fetes galantes (1869)


Your soul is like a landscape fantasy,
Where masks and Bergamasks, in charming
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

The calm, pale moonlight, whose sad
beauty, beaming,
Sets the birds softly dreaming in the trees,
And makes the marbled fountains, gushing,
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
Je me chargerais mal de ton nom diffame,
Et si j'ai quelque droit d'etre entre tes

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

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

-Calvaire juste et vrai, Calvaire ou, donc,
ces doutes,
Ci, ca, grimaces, art, pleurent de leurs
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

You fell, you prayed. And so did I, like all
Those souls whom thirst and hunger,
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.


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.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
from Poèmes saturniens (1866)
Mon Rêve familier / My Familiar Dream
Marine / Seascape
Effet de nuit / Night Scene
Soleils couchants / Sunsets
Crépuscule du soir mystique / Mystical Evening Twilight
Promenade sentimentale / Sentimental Stroll
Chanson d'automne / Autumn Song
L'Heure du berger / The Shepherd's Hour
Femme et chatte / Woman and Cat
Un Dahlia / A Dahlia
Nevermore / Nevermore
from Fêtes galantes (1869)
Clair de lune / Moonlight
Pantomime / Pantomime
Sur l'herbe / On the Grass
L'Allé / The Lane
À la promenade / Strolling
Les Ingénus / Innocents We
Cortège / Cortège
Les Coquillages / Seashells
Fantoches / Puppets
En bateau / Sailing
Le Faune / The Faun
Mandoline / Mandolin
À Clymène
Colombine / Colombine
L'Amour par terre / Love Cast Down
En sourdine / In Muted Tone
Colloque sentimental / Lovers' Chat
from La Bonne Chanson (1870)
"Avant que tu ne t'en ailles..." / "Morning star, before you pale..."
"La lune blanche..." / "Among the trees..."
"Une Sainte en son auréole..." / "A Saint set in her stained-glass glow..."
"J'allais par des chemins perfides..." / "I used to wander aimlessly..."
from Romances sans paroles (1874)
"C'est l'extase langoureuse..." / "It's the languorous ecstasy..."
"Il pleure dans mon coeur..." / "Like a city's rain, my heart..."
"Le piano que baise une main frêle..." / "Bright in the evening's gray and pinkish blur..."
"Ô triste, triste était mon âme..." / "So sad my heart, so sad it was..."
"Dans l'interminable..." / "Covering the land..."
"L'ombre des arbres dans la rivière embrumée..." / "Reflections in the fogbound rivulet..."
Walcourt / Walcourt
Charleroi / Charleroi
Green / Green
Spleen / Spleen
Streets I / Streets I
Streets II / Streets II
from Sagesse (1881)
"Beauté des femmes, leur faiblesse, et ces mains pâles..." / "Beauty of women, weakness, pale soft skin..."
"Un grand sommeil noir..." / "A vast, black lethargy..."
"Le ciel est, par-dessus le toit..." / "Above the roof the sky is fair..."
"Le son du cor s'afflige vers les bois..." / "The horn's sound in the wood sobs dolefully..."
"La bise se rue À travers..." / "The wind whips through the bushes, green..."
"L'échelonnement des haies..." / "The hedges billow like the sea's..."
"La 'grande ville'! Un tas criard de pierres blanches..." / "'The city!' Gaudy cluster of white stones..."
from Jadis et naguère (1884)
Pierrot / Pierrot
Le Squelette / The Skeleton
Art poétique / Ars Poetica
Allégorie / Allegory
Circonspection / Circumspection
Langueur / Languor
Prologue / Prologue
from Amour (1888)
"Ta voix grave et basse..." / "Your voice was deep and low..."
"À Georges Verlaine / For Georges Verlaine
from Parallèlement (1889)
Allégorie / Allegory
Printemps / Spring
été / Summer
À Mademoiselle *** / For Mademoiselle ***
Impression fausse / False Impression
Autre / Other
Tantalized / Tantalized
Le Dernier Dizain / The Last Stanza
À la manière de Paul Verlaine / In the Style of Paul Verlaine
Limbes / Limbo
Lombes / Loins
La Dernière Fête Galante / The Last "Fête Galante"
from Dédicaces (1890)
Souvenir de Manchester / Recollection of Manchester
À Edmond Lepelletier / For Edmond Lepelletier
À Arthur Rimbaud / For Arthur Rimbaud
À Bibi-Purée / For Bibi-Purée 

from Bonheur (1891)
"Voix de Gabriel..." / "In Mary's humble ear..."

from Chansons pour Elle (1891)
"Or, malgré ta cruauté..." / "Yes, despite your cruel excess..."
"Je suis plus pauvre que jamais..." / "I'm poorer than I've ever been..."
"Vrai, nous avons trop d'esprit..." / "True, we don't know when to quit..."
"Es-tu brune ou blonde?..." / "Blonde? Brown? Which is your hair?..."
"Tu crois au marc de café..." / "You believe in superstitions..."
"Lorsque tu cherches tes puces..." / "Lover, when you look for lice..."
"J'ai rêvé de toi cette nuit..." / "I dreamed of you last night; and you..."
from Liturgies intimes (1892)
À Charles Baudelaire / For Charles Baudelaire
from Odes en son honneur (1893)
"Tu fus souvent cruelle..." / "You've often been unkind..."
"Riche ventre qui n'a jamais porté..." / "That firm-fleshed belly that has never borne..."
from "Le Livre posthume" (1893-1894)
Dernier espoir / Last Hope

from épigrammes (1894)
"Quand nous irons, si je dois encor la voir..." / "When we go--if I see her yet again..."
"Grâce À toi je me vois de dos..." / "It's thanks to you I see how I..."
Au bas d'un croquis (Siège de Paris) / Accompanying a Sketch (The Siege of Paris)
Sur un exemplaire des Fleurs du mal / On a Copy of Les Fleurs du mal
from Chair (1896)
Chanson pour elles / Song for the Ladies
Fog! / Fog!
from Invectives (1896)
Sonnet pour larmoyer / Sonnet to Weep Over
Chanson pour boire / A Drink Song
Autre chanson pour boire / Another Drink Song
Rêve / Dream
Réveil / Awakening
Mort! / Death
Quatrain / Quatrain
Index of Titles and First Lines


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