All posts filed under: French poetry and literature

Walk through Paris at Night

I am thankful for how Paris conforms to the stereotype of being a city of love. Well, some of the time. For most of the time, it simply is a collection of urban spaces as mundane as any other. I’ve been to quite a few cities and very few of them (ad most of them really remarkable places) compare to Paris on a mild evening like tonight. I could not dream up another place to be in and to be with the one I love: I wish it on everyone to experience if only once in their lives. On a slightly related note a poem by famous French poet Jacques Prévert on ‘Paris at night’, translation also included: Trois allumettes une à une allumées dans la nuit La premiére pour voir ton visage tout entier La seconde pour voir tes yeux La dernière pour voir ta bouche Et l’obscuritè tout entière pour me rappeler tout cela En te serrant dans mes bras. Translation: Three matches one by one struck in the night The first to …

L’amour , Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Came across this translation of French poet,Marceline Desbordes-Valmore’s ‘L’amour’ (Love)… You asked if love makes one happy. His promise’s yes, be it for a day. Ah, who wouldn’t want to live one day for love Then die? For life does live in love. As lover full of gentleness and fear, With his fires I painted his suffering, On his portrait I shed so many tears That his image became much less charming. If smile, that unexpected gleam, Broke out sometimes amidst my tears, It was love, unarmed, it was him, And heaven with him disappears. Deprived of love, the heart’s icy. Yet he burns all, and poisons all. He sure knows how to rend a soul. Ask him if he makes one happy! You’ll know, whatever may occur, That love will win by force or grace; And in the slow-healing fever he made You will suffer and make others suffer. Once found, his absence is torture, And when he’s back, one shakes every hour. Often it’s death that lives in love. And yet, love does …