Comment noircir, selon ton crayon perdu/ How to darken, according to your lost pencil

Domenico_Piola_-_Daedalus_and_Icarus_-_WGA17838

Traduction approximative en anglais plus bas/ Rough English translation below.

635px-Den_druknede_bringes_i_land

C’était tout imaginaire

I thought I saw a silver tide

l’amour promis, une bébé fleur

bubbling from your ambrosiac eyes

Aucune idée s’il faut aller voir le portail de l’aube ou courir comme un enfant qui s’enveloppe dans le noir.

Ce n’était qu’un conte de fées

Like bells, you made ink spiders sing

le jour promis, les mots habillés en consonnes tout

My heart was Icarus, and you

the coat-stand unwinding time

while Mozart’s locked words sunrise-bloom

out of your clock-dry bones.

Pars, mais ne me laisse

Aucune voyelle ni mare résiduelle de couleur rouge ni bleue n’existe pour affirmer un soleil quelque part proche dans le noir.

C’était juste pour me plaire

I thought a platinum storm had purled me

Tu m’as promis un amour mort

pure of rotting black salt weeds

il y avait encore des mois,

il y avait une autre fille

embracée par soie noire, courbe-cils vêtus en chère dentelle qui ment sur le sujet de ce que les yeux peuvent ou ne peuvent pas voir

dans le chemin dans

le manuscrit tout habillé en

noir.

In cloud

you signed our names upon a diamond lake

frosted apples in my thorn-stripped cheeks but

spring came and

C’était tout imaginaire:

La mort, un jeu qui brille aux joues

des enfants

roses, qui brûlent tout

en essayant de se voir

les pas dans le noir.

341px-Ilya_Repin_-_Sadko_-_Google_Art_Project_levels_adjustment_2

English Translation

It was all in my head

I thought I saw a silver tide

the promised love, a baby flower

bubbling from your ambrosiac eyes

No idea if we should go see the gates of dawn or run like a child wrapped in black night.

It was nothing but a fairytale

Like bells, you made ink spiders sing

the promised day, words dressed entirely in consonants

My heart was Icarus, and you

the coat-stand unwinding time

while Mozart’s locked words sunrise-bloom

out of your clock-dry bones.

Leave, but don’t leave me

No vowel nor tide pool red nor blue exists to affirm the existence of a sun somewhere close by in the darkness.

It was just to please myself

I thought a platinum storm had purled me

You promised me a love that had already been dead for months

There was already another girl

hugged around by black silk, eyelash curlers covered in precious lace that lies about what the eyes can or cannot see on the path in the manuscript clothed entirely in black night.

In cloud

you signed our names upon a diamond lake

frosted apples in my thorn-stripped cheeks but

spring came and

It was all in my head:

Death, a game glittering on the cheeks

of rosy children,

everything burning

trying to see

themselves, their steps into the black.

Dik_Trom_en_the_blind_girl_next_door_by_Johan_Braakensiek_end_of_19th_century

Linguistic Notes of Interest (to me, anyway)

  1. The verbs partir and laisser can both be used to describe a person taking leave of a place, but laisser usually has a direct object. (Je pars à dix-huit heures = I’m leaving at 1800 hours, vs. Je laisse mon mari sur le métro = I’m leaving my husband on the train.) Therefore, the line “Pars, mais ne me laisse/ Aucune voyelle…” contains multiple meanings. The addressee is ordered to leave but not to leave anything for the speaker – or not to leave the speaker him/herself.
  2. In French, the word for “tide pools” is much more poetic: une mare résiduelle is a “leftover sea” after the tide retreats from the rocky shore.
  3. The expression il y a is used to indicate time elapsed (il y a un mois que je ne l’ai pas vue = I haven’t seen her in a month) but its more common usage is to affirm the existence of a particular material object or person (Il y a une autre fille = there is another girl.) Both are used in succession in the line “il y avait encore des mois/ il y avait une autre fille…”
  4. Similarly to English, rose in French can be used as a noun (a type of flower) or as an adjective (the color of flushed cheeks, etc.) Perhaps the children are roses, or perhaps the roses are also searching for themselves in the darkness. Or maybe the children just have pink cheeks. The last several lines are ambiguous in this way.
  5. Pas in the last line most directly means “steps” – the roses, or children, are trying to monitor where they are walking in the blackness. However, verbs are negated in French with the words ne…pas around the conjugated verb. Out of context, “Pas dans le noir” could also mean “not in darkness.”

640px-1961_CPA_2647-2648

Image credits in order of appearance:

By Domenico Piola – Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15463945

By Laurits Tuxen – own photo by Villy Fink Isaksen and http://www.kulturarv.dk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35138528

By Ilya Repin – PgFUvF6cbe8PYQ at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23519489

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37666660

By Processed by A. Sdobnikov – Personal collection, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6066972

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