translation

My Bohemia

english translation

My Bohemia

original French poem

Ma bohème

Je m’en allais, les poings dans mes poches crevées ;
Mon paletot aussi devenait idéal ;
J’allais sous le ciel, Muse! Et j’étais ton féal ;
Oh! là là! que d’amours splendides j’ai rêvées !

Mon unique culotte avait un large trou.
—Petit Poucet rêveur, j’égrenais dans ma course
Des rimes. Mon auberge était à la Grande-Ourse.
—Mes étoiles au ciel avaient un doux frou-frou

Et je les écoutais, assis au bord des routes,
Ces bons soirs de septembre où je sentais des gouttes
De rosée à mon front, comme un vin de vigueur ;

Où, rimant au milieu des ombres fantastiques,
Comme des lyres, je tirais les élastiques
De mes souliers blessés, un pied près de mon cœur !

 

The Enemy

english translation

The Enemy

original French poem

L’Ennemi

Ma jeunesse ne fut qu’un ténébreux orage,
Traversé ça et là par de brillants soleils ;
Le tonnerre et la pluie ont fait un tel ravage,
Qu’il reste en mon jardin bien peu de fruits vermeils.

Voilà que j’ai touché l’automne des idées,
Et qu’il faut employer la pelle et les râteaux
Pour rassembler à neuf les terres inondées,
Où l’eau creuse des trous grands comme des tombeaux.

Et qui sait si les fleurs nouvelles que je rêve
Trouveront dans ce sol lavé comme une grève
Le mystique aliment qui ferait leur vigueur ?

—Ô douleur ! ô douleur ! Le Temps mange la vie,
Et l’obscur Ennemi qui nous ronge le cœur
Du sang que nous perdons croît et se fortifie !

 

Catullus iii

english translation

Catullus iii

original Latin poem

Catullus iii

Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque
et quantum est hominum venustiorum!
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat;
nam mellitus erat, suamque norat
ipsa tam bene quam puella matrem,
nec sese a gremio illius movebat,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.
qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
illuc unde negant redire quemquam.
at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae
Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis;
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis.
o factum male! o miselle passer!
tua nunc opera meae puellae
flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.

 

Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus)

Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84 BC – 54 BC) was a Latin poet of the late Roman Republic whose work had a profound influence on later Latin poets, including Ovid, Horace, and Virgil. Approximately 116 of Catullus’s often-translated poems have survived.

 

 

Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud (1854 – 1891) was a French poet who wrote some of the most remarkable poetry and prose of the nineteenth century. He prefigured Surrealism and free verse, and was a major figure in Symbolism. Precocious and miserable in provincial France, he ran away to Paris at sixteen, where he read voraciously and lived in alcoholic squalor, sometimes with Paul Verlaine. Widely regarded as a prodigy, he wrote all of his poetry in the space of less than five years. Before age twenty-one, he burned his last manuscripts and is not known to have written other work.

 

Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1897) holds the most wide-ranging influence of the French Symbolist poets. A respected reviewer and critic whose translations of Edgar Allan Poe were much admired in his time, he died young, at only forty-six, but left behind a legacy of work at the center of which stands his masterpiece, the poems of Les Fleurs du mal, first published in 1857 to shock and acclaim.

 

Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was born in Moscow into an aristocratic family on June 6, 1799. He is often considered Russia’s greatest poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. His first major work was the poem Ruslan and Ludmila. His political verses associated him with the Decembrist revolt, causing him to be banished. He worked on Boris Godunov and the novel in verse Eugene Onegin before Nicholas I allowed him to return to Moscow in 1826. Pushkin died at age 37 following a duel with a French officer who was paying unscrupulous attention to his wife.

 

 

Heinrich Heine

Heinrich Heine was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in either 1797 or 1799. In 1831 he took exile in France, where he often struggled financially despite irregular patronage from a millionaire uncle. With freedom of speech he developed an international reputation for the lyricism, wordplay, irony, and excoriating satire of his poems, and was called the last of the Romantics. In 1841 he married Crescence Eugénie Mirat (“Mathilde”), who cared for him during eight years of paralysis; he wrote from bed until his death in 1856.

 

291: Zappa

english translation

291: Zappa

original Italian poem

291

Quand’io veggio dal ciel scender l’Aurora
co la fronte di rose et co’ crin’ d’oro,
Amor m’assale, ond’io mi discoloro,
et dico sospirando: Ivi è Laura ora.

O felice Titon, tu sai ben l’ora
da ricovrare il tuo caro tesoro:
ma io che debbo far del dolce alloro?
che se ’l vo’ riveder, conven ch’io mora.

I vostri dipartir’ non son sí duri,
ch’almen di notte suol tornar colei
che non â schifo le tue bianche chiome:

le mie notti fa triste, e i giorni oscuri,
quella che n’à portato i penser’ miei,
Né di sè m’à lasciato altro che ’l nome.

 

287: Give my regards to

english translation

287: Give my regards to

original Italian poem

287

Sennuccio mio, benché doglioso et solo
m’abbi lasciato, i’ pur mi riconforto,
perché del corpo ov’eri preso et morto
alteramente se’ levato a volo.

Or vedi inseme l’un et l’altro polo,
le stelle vaghe et lor vïaggio torto,
et vedi il veder nostro quanto è corto;
onde col tuo gioir tempro ’l mio duolo.

Ma ben ti prego che ’n la terza spera
Guitton saluti, et messer Cino, et Dante,
Franceschin nostro et tutta quella schiera.

A la mia donna puoi ben dire in quante
lagrime io vivo et son fatt’una fera,
membrando il suo bel viso et l’opre sante.

 

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