Translation: French Poetry from Belgium and France

Vatsala Radhakeesoon
Translated by Vatsala Radhakeesoon

French language has some unique beauty. This statement is clearly justified through French Poetry that often carries readers in the gentle or poignant waves of words.

I have the immense pleasure to bring forth some French poems by the Belgian poet, Martine Rouhart and French poet Manuel Renaud.


The original poems in French appear first. Then, my English translation of each poem follows.


Martine Rouhart
MARTINE ROUHART

Chaque Matin

Chaque matin
c'est la même histoire
les vies s'éveillent
se propagent
se répètent
de maison en maison
d'arbre en arbre
de fleur en fleur


Every Morning

Every morning
is the same  story
Lives wake up
spread
repeat
from home to home
tree to tree
flower to flower


La Pluie

La pluie la plus légère
cristalline
chantante
la plus méditative
est celle qui tombe
de feuilles en feuilles
du couvert des arbres
quand l'orage est déjà loin

The Rain

The lightest rain
crystalline
song-like
mostly meditative
is the one that falls
from leaf to leaf
of the shelters of trees
when thunder is already
roaring far away.


Un Goût Sucrée de Violette

Le matin venu
dans la broussaille
des pensées nocturnes
fleurit parfois
un mot une phrase
au goût sucré
de violette

A Sweet Taste of Violets

The arrival of the morning
after the multitude of
my endless nocturnal thoughts
at times bears the flower
of word, of line
amidst the sweetness
of violets


Si Tu Savais

Si tu savais
comme parfois
j'aime vagabonder
mon esprit court les champs
des bouts de phrase
en partance
casca
dent dans ma tête
battent la campagne
grimpent des versants boisés
font des ronds dans l'eau
s'égarent dans la clarté lunaire
Tant de délicieuses irrésolutions !


If Only You Knew

If only you knew
how at times
I love to wander
my mind runs across the fields
fragments of outgoing lines
swirl  in my mind
beat in the countryside
climb the  wooded slopes
whirl in water
blend  with the moonlight
Oh, So many sweet unsolved mysteries!


Manuel Renaud
MANUEL RENAUD

Le Piano
  
Une touche de bleu
Une touche de rouge
Une touche de vert
L'accord parfait
Le sourire muet
Les notes immobiles
Alignées dans l'attente
Clavier patient
Une porte ouverte
Rideaux et fenêtres
Vers le jardin
Vers tant de roses
À tâtons les doigts
Petit pouce aux cailloux
Trouve son chemin
Et tous les autres
Découvrent la route
Encore craintifs
Encore maladroits
Mais ils jouent déjà
Malgré l'ombre tenace
Les vieux nuages
Chargés de nuit
Tes deux mains
Se serrent les coudes
Les sons s'honorent
Et se font beaux
Pour un dimanche
La musique arrive
Pour la fête
Le piano dans l'âme
Le piano dans le cœur
Ton vieil ami
Ouvre ses bras
Il t'embrasse déjà
Tu es chez toi.
The Piano

A brushstroke of blue
A brushstroke of red
A brushstroke of green
All in perfect harmony
The dumb silent smile
The fixed notes
Awaiting in line
Patient keyboard
An open door
Curtains and windows
Facing the garden
Facing so many roses
By the fingertips touch
on the pebbles
Tom Thumb
Finds his path
And the others
Discover the leading road
Still frightened
Still clumsy
But they already play
Despite the persistent shadow
The old clouds
overload the night
Your hands
cooperate
The sounds show
their self-worth
And embellish themselves
for a Sunday
The music announces
the feast
The piano in the soul
The piano in the heart
Your old friend
With widespread arms
already kisses you
You are at home.



Un poème au soleil


Un poème au soleil
Des mots d'été surtout
Parsemés de rendez-vous
De murmures à l'oreille
Petits baisers sur l'herbe
Ce parfum entre nous
Et puis tes yeux surtout
À conjuguer le verbe
Aimer.
Un poème au soleil
Sans l'ombre d'un nuage
Le ciel et davantage
Du bleu, tous les bleus s'émerveillent
Ta main, nos mains amies
Le même silence ensemble
Nos cœurs qui se ressemblent
Bien sûr tout est permis
Tout est aimer.
Un poème au soleil
Des rires, surtout des rires
Comme des éclats
Dans l'air qu'on respire
Éclaboussures
Poignées de groseilles
Sucrées tes lèvres
Un poème au soleil.



A Poem in the Sun

A poem in the sun
With words of summer undoubtedly
Sprinkled with rendez -vous
Sprinkled with whispers on the grass
This perfume spreading between us
And then obviously your eyes
express love
A poem in the Sun
Without the shadow of a cloud
The perfect sky
All-blue, mesmerizing blue
Your hands, Our hands
Together we plunge
in the same silence
Our heartbeats resemble
Of course everything is allowed
Everything is summarized as
simply “To love”.
A poem in the sun
Laughter, and mostly laughter
like the sparkles
in the air we breathe
Splashes
Handful of currants
Your lips as sweet as sugar
All giving rise to
A poem in the sun.



La Nuit est un Poème
La nuit est un poème
Même sans soleil
Petite loupiote, c'est pareil
Comme des "je t'aime"
Qu'on ne chuchote même pas
Pas besoin de ça.
La nuit est un poème
Quand j'y pense
Les mots qui dansent
Sous la lune elle-même
Et ces phrases que j'écris là
Je te les donne va !
La nuit est un poème
Même sans sommeil
Le temps d'un réveil
Le ciel plafonne quand même
Les yeux vers le jour prochain
Ton cœur bat sous ma main
Un poème pour la nuit
Pour ce silence petit
Le bonheur contre ta peau
Comme il est tôt !
La nuit est un poème.



The Night is a Poem

The night is a poem
|Even without the sun
A small light from a lamp
has  the same effect
like “I love you”
that we don’t even whisper
As it’s no longer needed
The night is a poem
When I ponder
The words dance
under the moon
and the lines that I’m writing
I dedicate them to you!
The night is a poem
Even without sleep
The time to remain awake
The sky is ceiling -like at least
The eyes looking forward
to the next new day
Your heart beats under my palm
A poem for the night
For this brief silence
The pleasure of being close
to your soft skin
to your soul
As it’s still early!
The night is a poem.



Biography: Martine Rouhart

Martine Rouhart was born at Mons in Belgium. She has been a former lawyer.
To gift the art of poetry to life has been her initial source of inspiration for writing. She is basically a novelist and has authored nine books in French. She also writes novellas and poems and they are regularly published in journals, magazines and anthologies.
She is a member of the writers’ associations,
L’Association des Ecrivains Belges de Langue Française (AEB) and  L’Association Royale des Artistes et Ecrivains de Wallonie (L’AREAW).
She is also a literary columnist for L’AREAW.


Biography:  Manuel Renaud

Manuel Renaud is a French musician and poet. He writes lyrics and excels in playing various musical instruments such as the guitar, bass, ukulele and mandolin. He also teaches guitar, bass and singing. His passion for poetry originated when he was at school. At the age of 14 he was awarded a prize at school for his outstanding achievement in French language. The prize comprised of Les Oeuvres Complètes d’Arthur Rimbaud (The Complete Works of Arthur Rimbaud).
When he was much younger he was much influenced by British pop music. This roused his eagerness to learn and understand English. So, firstly he wrote lyrics in English and French. Then afterwards, he seriously started writing poems and still keeps writing regularly.

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