Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I’m feeling a bit more spritely today, tho still rather worn-down—but I continue to be confident that whatever this is (& West Nile Virus is simply a guess—wanted to make that clear—tho the symptoms do fit the mild version of that condition just about perfectly), I’ll escape without anything major happening. Because my lung condition would be exacerbated by any significant respiratory infection, sickness is a nervy thing with me. Fortunately, I tend to be pretty healthy!

Anyway, on to lighter topics: here’s the Tuesday translation, a poem by Apollinaire, from his Alcools. Because “Clotilde” is a short poem, I’ve presented both my translation & the French original, filled as the latter is with gorgeous sound & image.

I do hope to have the second installment of Down on the Farm ready for posting tomorrow, & am also hopeful to have a post for Just a Song either later today or tomorrow. In the meantime, hope you enjoy this!


Anemone and columbine
Sprout in the garden
Where melancholy’s sleeping
With love and scorn on either side

Our shadows come there too
When night dispels them
The sun that gave them their gloom
Vanishes with them

Divinities of running streams
Let their hair flow
Move on you must follow
The lovely shadow you yearn for

translation © John Hayes 1990-2009


L’anémone et l’ancolie
Ont poussé dans le jardin
Où dort la mélancolie
Entre l’amour et le dédain

Il y vient aussi nos ombres
Que la nuit dissipera
Le soleil qui les rend sombres
Avec elles disparaîtra

Les déités des eaux vives
Laissent couler leurs cheveux
Passe il faut que tu poursuives
Cette belle ombre que tu veux



  1. Your translations are exquisite, John - they really are. They have music in them, no surprise there.

    Sending healing energy in your direction. Take it easy! Hope you're soon on the mend.

  2. Ooh. "the garden where melancholy's sleeping..." Beautiful. It's not just the French original that's filled with gorgeous sound and image.

  3. Hi Reya & Sandra:

    Reya: Thanks for that. I am trying to scale back.

    Sandra: So glad you liked it.


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