Posts Tagged ‘Sage’


Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
D’une langueur

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure

Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

Paul Verlaine

(For an English translation, see TRANSLATING VERLAINE I.)

Commentary: I’ve been thinking about my goddaughter, Sage, who is teaching herself French and plays the violin. I think this poem would be easy enough for her to translate if she wanted to. In it, Paul Verlaine expresses sadness about the past… and things that are lost… and the ways that our souls can become like dry leaves dying on a tree. I’m thankful that the fall, which is actually a beautiful season, is only one of four. Seasons change.

This past fall, on November 7th, Sage’s mother, Jennifer, wrote on the same theme as Verlaine does in this chanson. She wrote: “This is a time of good-byes, a time of loss and change. The trees and the flowers and the insects go inward, the toads retreat into the earth. Some things cannot survive until spring. But truly there has never been a good-bye that was not a hello to something else. It is impossible.” Yes, Jennifer wrote on the same theme, but she stepped forward in her thinking toward what comes after the fall … toward the light that awakens sleeping seeds.

My heart finds comfort in this.

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