That Afternoon

The jolt struck
that afternoon
as words were uttered
in hushed, careful voices
each syllable sticking
to the back of the throat

It had been lurking
waiting to wash
away what had been brought
into the world many
many years ago

Buried with the truth
it lay–my
reaction suspended–
waiting for the shock
but nothing came
nothing at all

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Le Point Mirabeau

 

In my French class today I read the poem “Le Point Mirabeau” (or the “Mirabeau Bridge”) by Apollinaire. It’s really sad but beautiful and I wanted to share it with you all. Don’t worry, I found a good English translation by Richard Wilbur but I also included the original French version for some of my French speaking followers.

A picture I took in Paris along the Seine.

A picture I took in Paris along the Seine.

The Mirabeau Bridge

Below the Pont Mirabeau
Slow flows the Seine
And all our loves together
Must I recall again
Joy would always follow
After pain

Let night fall, let the hours go by
The days pass on and here stand I

Hands holding hands
Let us stand face to face
While underneath the bridge
Of our arms entwined slow race
Eternal gazes flowing
At wave’s pace

Let night fall, let the hours go by
The days pass on and here stand I

Love runs away
Like running water flows
Love flows away
But oh how slow life goes
How violent is hope
Love only knows

Let night fall, let the hours go by
The days pass on and here stand I

The days flow ever on
The weeks pass by in vain
Time never will return
Nor our loves burn again
Below the Pont Mirabeau
Slow flows the Seine

Let night fall, let the hours go by
The days pass on and here stand I

Et maintenant, en francais:

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine
Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous
Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l’onde si lasse

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

L’amour s’en va comme cette eau courante
L’amour s’en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l’Espérance est violente

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

e.e. cummings

Today while in Boston I stumbled upon a very cute bookstore where I happened to find this e.e. cummings poem that really resonated with me. Hope you like it!

pretty book

who are you, little i

(five or six years old)
peering from some high

window; at the gold

of november sunset

(and feeling:that if day
has to become night

this is a beautiful way)

— e.e. cummings

Fall-Inspired Poems by Frost: October

“My sorrow, when she’s here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.”
Robert Frost, November Guest

My old copy of Robert Frost poems.

My old copy of Robert Frost poems.

While on my run today I couldn’t help but notice the soft crunch of leaves under my feet the the crisp fall breeze moving through the air. When I got home this inspired me to pick up my worn copy of Robert Frost poems and skim to some of my fall favorites. Here’s one that is perfect for this month:

October
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.