National Poetry Month: Poems About Music, Day 17 of 30

Today, some Baudelaire. Try saying the French even if you can’t really speak it. The sound embodieds the theme.

Mu450px-Baudelaire_cropsic

Music often carries me away like a sea!
Toward my pale star,
Beneath a ceiling of mist or in a vast sky,
I cast anchor;

My chest a bowsprit and lungs billowing
Like sails,
I scale the back of waves gathering
As night drops its veil;

I feel all the passions of a stricken
Vessel vibrating inside me;
The fair wind, the tempest and its convulsions

Upon the immense gulf rock me.
At other times, becalmed, great mirror
Of my despair!

(Text of the poem in the original French)

La musique souvent me prend comme une mer!
Vers ma pâle étoile,
Sous un plafond de brume ou dans un vaste éther,
Je mets à la voile;

La poitrine en avant et les poumons gonflés
Comme de la toile
J’escalade le dos des flots amoncelés
Que la nuit me voile;

Je sens vibrer en moi toutes les passions
D’un vaisseau qui souffre;
Le bon vent, la tempête et ses convulsions

Sur l’immense gouffre
Me bercent. D’autres fois, calme plat, grand miroir
De mon désespoir!

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
translated from the French by John Kinsella

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s