Sunday, 6 April 2014

Day 6: 'Merdrigal' by Léon-Paul Fargue

I am translating poems by Léon-Paul Fargue for a Masters assignment. He wrote a lot of beautifully musical, atmospheric prose poems which - after several weeks spent deeply absorbed in them - I now want to scribble all over, put in my blender and then feed to the local rodents. (I'm sure this is only a passing phase.) Luckily, Fargue also wrote things like this:

Dans mon coeur en ta présence
Fleurissent des harengs saurs.
Ma santé, c’est ton absence,
Et quand tu parais, je sors.

I have kept the title, since a) I think it can be understood by English readers, and b) I couldn't better it! I don't think the merdrigal has become an established form, but perhaps it should...


Within my heart, when you are here,
Pickled herrings bloom.
My health is your absence; when you appear
I swiftly leave the room.

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