Thursday, February 20, 2014

"poesie" by Jacques Prevert

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:08 AM

Brevitas_Index_01_LoRes.jpg
When I say "Prevert" into my voice-activated computer, it writes: "pray there." I found this bilingual edition — French and Italian — (published by Newton Compton Italiana) for free at the thrift shop here in Phoenicia, NY, and spent maybe six years slowly reading it (but only in French). poesie is intimate, sympathetic, but much trickier than Paroles, the only other book of Prevert's I know (in the Lawrence Ferlinghetti translation, from City Lights).

Here, let me translate a little, in my crude way, from a poem at random:

Hello hello don't leave listen
to the grapevine without asking who died
and why he died
His death it's our business
the business of the Nation
on the back of all our medals his name
will be piously graven
like on the first goblets
of the noble newly-born

[From "Cagnes-Sur-Mer": the italics are in the original.]

A tragic hope permeates these lines — the birthfulness of death.
Sparrow reviews a book of French poetry he found for free at the thrift shop in Phoenicia.

  • Pin It
  • StumbleUpon
  • Email
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , ,

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America @ Family Partnership Center

Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America

Fri., April 28, 6-9 p.m. — A screening of presented by the LCBTQ Community for Racial Justice and...

View all of today's events

Latest in Daily Dose

  • Homespun Music Hits 50-Year Mark
  • Homespun Music Hits 50-Year Mark

    Happy Traum and Jane Traum's Woodstock music instructional label began in 1967.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • MOVE Music Festival Returns to Capital District
  • MOVE Music Festival Returns to Capital District

    The 2017 lineup features 25 acts and takes place in Albany, Troy, and Cohoes.
    • Apr 25, 2017
  • World Class Women’s Cycling
  • World Class Women’s Cycling

    The Women’s Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix (WWCGP) is celebrating its fifth year as the only women’s single day, out-and-back road race course in the United States. It’s a great day for families to support athletes, inspire young ones, and enjoy community.
    • Apr 24, 2017
  • More »

More by Sparrow

Top Commenters

Current Issue

April 1-30, 2017