french

Pierre de Ronsard

Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585) was attached to both the French and Scottish courts in his youth; he was later named royal poet for the House of Valois. He led the group of poets called the Pleiades, who looked to classical poetry for paradigms but wrote in French rather than Latin to encourage the development of French literature. In An Introduction to the French Poets, Geoffrey Brereton writes, “He projected . . . an image of his own century. . . .

 

Terese Coe

Terese Coe’s poems and translations have appeared in Able Muse, Alaska Quarterly Review, the Cincinnati Review, New American Writing, Ploughshares, Poetry, Threepenny Review, Agenda, the Moth, New Walk, New Writing Scotland, Poetry Review, the TLS, the Stinging Fly, and many other publications and anthologies. Her poem “More” was heli-dropped across London in the 2012 London Olympics Rain of Poems, and her latest collection of poems, Shot Silk, was published by Kelsay Books.

 

Challenge for a Mounted Tournament in the Form of a Ballet

english translation

Challenge for a Mounted Tournament in the Form of a Ballet

original French poem

Cartel pour le combat à cheval, en forme de balet

Ces nouveaux Chevaliers par moy vous font entendre
Que leurs premiers ayeuls furent fils de Méandre,
À qui le fleuve apprit à tourner leurs chevaux
Comme il tourne et se vire et se plie en ses eaux.

Pyrrhe en celle façon sur le tombeau d’Achille
Feit une danse armée, et aux bords de Sicile
Enée en decorant son pere de tournois,
Feit sauter les Troyens au branle du harnois,
Où les jeunes enfans en cent mille manieres
Meslerent les replis de leurs courses guerrières.

Pallas qui les conduit, a de sa propre main
Façonné leurs chevaux, et leur donna le frein,
Mais plustost un esprit, qui sagement les guide
Par art, obeissant à la loy de la bride.

Tantost vous les voirrez à courbettes danser,
Tantost se reculer, s’approcher, s’avancer,
S’escarter, s’esloigner, se serrer, se rejoindre
D’une pointe allongée, et tantost d’une moindre,
Contrefaisant la guerre au semblant d’une paix,
Croisez, entrelassez de droit et de biais,
Tantost en forme ronde, et tantost en carrée,
Ainsi qu’un Labyrinth, dont la trace esgarée
Nous abuse les pas en ses divers chemins,

Ainsi qu’on voit danser en la mer les Dauphins,
Ainsi qu’on voit volet par le travers des nues
En diverses façons une troupe de Grues.

 

      — [abridged]

 

A Woman and Her Cat

english translation

A Woman and Her Cat

original French poem

Femme et chatte

Elle jouait avec sa chatte;
Et c’était merveille de voir
La main blanche et la blanche patte
S’ébattre dans l’ombre du soir.

Elle cachait—la scélérate!—
Sous ces mitaines de fil noir
Ses meurtriers ongles d’agate,
Coupants et clairs comme un rasoir.

L’autre aussi faisait la sucrée,
Et rentrait sa griffe acérée,
Mais le diable n’y perdait rien. . .

Et dans le boudoir où, sonore,
Tintait son rire aérien,
Brillaient quatre points de phosphore.

 

Paul Verlaine

Paul Verlaine (1844 – 1896), precursor of the Symbolists, composed ten volumes of lushly musical poetry replete with eroticism and subtle moods. His life was a tempestuous sequence of prosperity, poverty, Parisian café society, a violent affair with the young Rimbaud, two imprisonments for assault—including one on his mother—as well as failed business ventures and intervals of teaching in England.

 

 

Diane Furtney

After her Tulsa upbringing and with a psychology degree from Vassar College, Diane Furtney worked a year in Israel (1967), then took an assortment of jobs, sometimes in clinical psychology, in several U.S. cities. Besides nonfiction ghostwriting, she has authored two prize-winning poetry chapbooks (Destination Rooms and It Was a Game) and two comic mystery novels (pseudonym D.J.H. Jones). Her poems and translations (French, Japanese) are in numerous journals in the U.S.

 

Pierre de Ronsard

Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585) was for many years the royal poet for the House of Valois, memorializing numerous kings and members of the French court as well as official events and literary figures, including Henri II, Charles IX, François Rabelais, and Marguerite de Navarre. Among the more than one thousand poems he wrote were sonnets on Petrarch, odes after Pindar and Horace, elegies, eclogues, songs, and witty if sometimes dark light verse.

 

Terese Coe

Terese Coe’s poems and translations have appeared in Poetry, The Threepenny Review, Ploughshares, New American Writing, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, Smartish Pace, Tar River Poetry and The Huffington Post; in the UK, The TLS, Poetry Review, Agenda, New Walk Magazine, Orbis, and Warwick Review; in Ireland, The Stinging Fly; and in many other publications, including anthologies.

 

Exotic Perfume

english translation

Exotic Perfume

original French poem

Parfum Exotique

Quand, les deux yeux fermés, en un soir chaud d’automne,
Je respire l’odeur de ton sein chaleureux,
Je vois se dérouler des rivages heureux
Qu’éblouissent les feux d’un soleil monotone;

Un île paresseuse où la nature donne
Des arbres singuliers et des fruits savoureux;
Des hommes dont le corps est mince et vigoureux,
Et des femmes dont l’œil par sa franchise étonne.

Guidé par ton odeur vers de charmants climats,
Je vois un port rempli de voiles et de mâts
Encore tout fatigués par la vague marine,

Pendant que le parfum de verts tamariniers,
Qui circule dans l’air et m’enfle la narine,
Se mêle dans mon âme au chant des mariniers.

 

Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson holds graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and Boston University. Recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in a number of magazines, including 32 Poems, First Things, The Hopkins Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Measure, River Styx, and Sewanee Theological Review, among others. Currently living with his wife in Baltimore, he is a doctoral candidate at The Catholic University of America.

 

 

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