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Re: If you like the poems or the songs, how about the pistol?

Deeply melancholic............both you and Souzay have caught the mood.

On dit souvent que l'on craint ce que l'on ne connaît pas. Je crois plutôt que la peur naît quand on apprend un jour ce que la veille on ignorait encore.
Philippe CLAUDEL in Les Âmes grises

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Re: If you like the poems or the songs, how about the pistol?

A much less well-known poem which I like to think of as Rimbaud and Verlaine after the passion had gone:

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }

Colloque sentimental

Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé
Deux formes ont tout à l’heure passé.

Leurs yeux sont morts et leurs lèvres sont molles,
Et l’on entend à peine leurs paroles.

Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé
Deux spectres ont évoqué le passé.

– Te souvient-il de notre extase ancienne?
– Pourquoi voulez-vous donc qu’il m’en souvienne?

– Ton cœur bat-il toujours à mon seul nom?
Toujours vois-tu mon âme en rêve? – Non.

Ah ! les beaux jours de bonheur indicible
Où nous joignions nos bouches ! – C’est possible.

– Qu’il était bleu, le ciel, et grand, l’espoir !
– L’espoir a fui, vaincu, vers le ciel noir.

Tels ils marchaient dans les avoines folles,
Et la nuit seule entendit leurs paroles.



I have made two versions, one of which attempts to highlight the laconic ballad feeling of the poem, and the second which is more literal and keeps the shock of the cold  change from 'tu' to 'vous'

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }

Heart to heart

In the lonely cold old park
Two figures have just passed.

Their eyes are dead, their lips are slack,
We hardly hear their words.

In the lonely cold old park
Two ghosts evoked the past.

- Remember our old ecstasy?
- But why remember it?

- Your heart beats faster at my name ?
Still see me in your dreams? - No.

Ah! the days of blissful joy
When our lips touched ! - Perhaps.

- The sky was blue and hope was great!
- Hope has fled, beaten, to the black sky.

They wandered like this through the wild grass,

And only the night heard their words.

Verion 2



p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }

Heart to heart

In the lonely cold old park
Two figures have just passed.

Their eyes are dead, their lips are slack,
We hardly hear their words.

In the lonely cold old park
Two ghosts evoked the past.

-Dost thou recall how ecstatic we were?
-Why would you want me to think about that ?

-Does thy heart still beat faster just hearing my name
-Dost thou still see my Spirit in dreams? --No.

-Oh those fine days of unspeakable bliss
-When our mouths joined together -Perhaps.

- The sky was blue and our hope was so great!
- Hope has fled back , beaten, to the black sky.

They wandered thus through the wild grass
And only the night heard their words.






The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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Re: If you like the poems or the songs, how about the pistol?

Thank you for those.  I think the second version is more lyrical and I prefer it.

Now we have got on to love and loss (and it seems that the two are inextricably linked), I like Auden's Stop all the Clocks

He would have known about Verlaine and Rimbaud and he expresses his loss in a much more "anglo-saxon" manner, I think!

http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/auden.stop.html

On dit souvent que l'on craint ce que l'on ne connaît pas. Je crois plutôt que la peur naît quand on apprend un jour ce que la veille on ignorait encore.
Philippe CLAUDEL in Les Âmes grises

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