Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dallas langue francaise

Bear with me here folks, I've got a special treat just for you. I just finished a special poetry project and want to share it with the world! What started as an annoying trip to the grumpmonsters of the library's Special Collections room has now become a surprisingly cathartic exercise in creativity.
And who new my French would come to good use again!

Part I. The Original

Del coc raconte qui monta

Sour un femier et si grata

Selonc nature porchaçhot

Sa viande si come il sot

Une chiere geme trova,

Clere la vit, si l’esgarda

“Je cuidai,” fait-il, “porchacier

Ma viande sour cest femier,

Or t’ai ici, geme, trovee:

Ja par moi rien iers remuëe.

S’uns riches om ci vos trovast,

Bien sai que d’or vos honorast,

Si acreüst vostre claret

Par l’or qui mout a grant beauté

Quant ma volenté n’ai de toi

Ja nule onor n’avras par moi.”

Autressi est de main te gent,

Se tot ne vait a lor talent,

Come del coc et de la geme,

Veü l’avons d’ome et de feme:

Bien ne onor noient ne present,

Le pis prenent, le mieuz despisent.

(That's French from the Middle Ages, ladies and gents)

Part II. The Translation

“Of a cock who found a gemstone on a manure pile”

This is the story of a cock who made a discovery

On a manure pile while he scratched

As cocks do, searching

For his food on the ground as he had always done.

He found a precious gemstone

And saw it sparkle.

“I believed,” he said, “that I had found

Food on this manure pile.

But it’s you I’ve found, gemstone.

I will not touch you.

If a rich man had found you

I am certain that he would celebrate you as gold.

And note your clarity

As gold of great beauty.

But because you aren’t what I desired,

I will not celebrate you.”

There are many people

Who, when things don’t go as they wish,

Act like the cock with the gemstone.

We’ve seen these men and women:

They don’t value what is good,

And they vilify and despise what is best.

Part III. Imitation/Response

“Of a girl who found love in her heart”

This is the story of a girl who found promise

In her heart, while she smiled

As girls do, laughing

With her friends as she had always done.

She found a precious love

And saw it sparkle.

“I had hoped,” she said, “that you would come

When I was ready.

But you’ve arrived early, love.

I cannot keep you.

If a stronger girl had found you

I am certain she would have expressed endless joy.

And noted your perfection

As love of great worth.

But because you aren’t what I expected,

I will not keep you.”

There are many people

Who, when love comes to leave its mark,

Act like the girl with her guarded heart.

We’ve watched these men and women.

They don’t trust love for what it could be,

And fear it for what it sometimes is.

Hope you enjoy!

Au revoir,
Mademoiselle Kels.

1 comment:

  1. I love your imitation/response to this poem. Who would have thought that some French guy long ago would inspire a thought/poem as relevant for today as for his time? The great themes of life are eternal. Human behavior remains constant.