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poem of the moment
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I quite like this one by Prévert ; it's time-appropriate, too Very Happy

LE CANCRE

Il dit non avec la tête
mais il dit oui avec le coeur
il dit oui à ce qu'il aime
il dit non au professeur
il est debout
on le questionne
et tous les problèmes sont posés
soudain le fou rire le prend
et il efface tout
les chiffres et les mots
les dates et les noms
les phrases et les pièges
et malgré les menaces du maître
sous les huées des enfants prodiges
avec des craies de toutes les couleurs
sur le tableau noir du malheur
il dessine le visage du bonheur
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KathyD



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Couzon, France 03160

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: Minty Reply with quote

Hi Minty.....where are you from? Where do you live?

KathyD
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject: poem of the moment Reply with quote

Thanks minty.. .I will remember that. I have over 20 years creative writing experience and no shame so it's easy for me to write and then to show it around! Yes, please translate the Prevert, it sounds fab in French, but it would be interesting to see if I understand the bits I think I understand!!

KathyD,

I read some short stories by Karen Blixen which were wonderful. They had a warm, rich flavour but I think they were 'Gothic' tales, published by Penguin again. I had them from the library but will probably get them 'cos I love Gothic Romantic stuff.
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, I'll get on the prévert tomorrow....
well, I'm quite new here...
I'll introduce myself quickly...
28 single white female.... no, I'm on the wrong forum for that ;
so, I'm finishing a thesis in british civilisation, I live in Paris, and I'd love to find work as a translator, if possible for childrens' books - that's in my dreams, though....
I like dance, cats, and books.... Very Happy
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

minty darling..welcome on board the good ship c&z!....there are lollies in Australia named Minties ...the ad for same claimes "It's moments like these you need Minties."...luck c&z I say...
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:35 pm    Post subject: poem of the moment Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm finishing a thesis in british civilisation


What?!! We have a civilisation? Why didn't somebody tell me that was what it was?! Shocked

So you love cats and books, eh? Me too! I have probably more books than is legally allowed! And I cannot walk past a cat without saying hallo... in French.

All because Colette (one of my favourite writers) who was in London with a friend once stopped and talked to a cat in French. Her friend said, 'Why talk to him in French, when he's an English cat?'
Colette's reply was, 'Because ALL cats speak French.' and somehow I have to agree. Tho' a friend of mine saw a postcard that said, If cats could talk... they wouldn't. Which also makes a lot of sense.

Have you read the short story by Hector Hugh Munro aka Saki? It's called Tobermory and is well worth a look. A good smile story, possibly even a chuckle story. Saki was superb at short stories and died in the First World War.

Quand j'etais jeune... as my mother used to say from her French class... I used to write stories in school that always had a cat in them. I even used to tell my mother stories about a stuffed toy cat I once had called, for some reason, Susan.

Cats and books have one thing in common - they are fine and civilised... unless you happen to be a mouse or a small bird. Tho' obviously that only works with cats - not books... as far as I know!
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin...a brief search (only a few minutes webtime today Wink )of cat poems on Google...

STRAY CAT
by Francis Witham
Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth, and food
For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny.

While he, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house the law.
He scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed.

He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died.
So if you really think, oh Cat,
I'd willingly relive all that
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well...don't just stand there...Come on in!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If cats could talk... they wouldn't

Reminds me of that other saying ...

Dogs have owners, cats have staff.
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the cat poem. I have just finished reading it to my little ginger furfriend. She is sitting here purring and pretending that none of the points relate to her.... It is quite bittersweet for me to read as I had a beautiful natured old ginger puss who used to come every night at 930pm for dinner and affection. He was so old and had no teeth left. Really on his last legs. Became quite glossy and lost his thin gaunt look on a diet of whipped eggs and soft cat food.... sadly he died last winter. We think he lived in the Cemetiere de Montmartre which is only a block from our place. Luckily now I have young gingerpuss and black puss who come in every day to cuddle and eat..... or should that be eat and cuddle?

Must agree that all cats speak french.... Doesn't matter where in the world I am, I must (!) stop and talk to and pat any cat I come across. All cats, even wild ones, will stop and let me approach if I talk in french. Don't know what it is, but it works. Maybe it sounds nicer to kitty ears? Laughing

My Mum has a cat which she named Paris (she bought it just before we moved here). It is a naughty russian blue with a very definate - and defiant - personality. She goes into ectasy when you talk to her in french. So funny to see.

There is a book which I love which is something about French for Cats. Can't remember the exact title. It is quite cute though.
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everybody : thanks for your warm welcome... Very Happy
well, Griffin, I another one who has too many books .... and a british shorthair ; I'll try to post a photo, though I'm not sure how to do it ;

the Prevert is coming : I've actually found a "real" translation - professional, but I want to try a bit more on my own before reading - and posting it. Embarassed

as for cats :

"The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, and cats take the message and get back to you"
"the world belongs to cats, they let us own them just for show"

those quotes are on my fridge Wink

and for the poetry :
"Elle jouait avec sa chatte
Et c'était merveille de voir
La main blanche et la blanche patte
S'ébattre dans l'ombre du soir" Paul Verlaine

(I'm quite sure there's no double meaning....)

and
Viens ,mon beau chat, sur mon coeur amoureux
Retiens les griffes de ta patte
Et laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux
Mêlés de métal et d'agates Charles Baudelaire

"Et des parcelles d'or
ainsi qu'un sable fin
étoilent vaguement
leurs prunelles mystiques" same author

actually, I love dogs too.... Wink
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



she's decided to help me with my thesis Wink
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:12 pm    Post subject: poem of the moment Reply with quote

Madame,
I have never come across that poem before, but it's a perfect description save for one point, that last line. If the door was open, the cat wouldn't wait to be invited!! He'd be in and asking you to hurry up and feed him! Laughing

Judy,
Our cats always used to 'supervise' my mum when she was gardening! They would settle comfortably to watch, tho' I often wonder if they were amazed at her doing all that hard work when she could have been snoozing instead!

Debbie,
Two of our cats were from cat rescue places, but the first one, Possum adopted us and let us have her to stay. She soon worked out who the softies were in the family and I used to find her asleep in my bedroom, but on a big armchair I'd got. We never knew her as a kitten, she suddenly appeared, long-haired and bright ginger and white beneath the rose bush at the front of the house - asleep one day and working us out. She died of old age tho' so at least for the latter part of her life we knew she was safe and happy.

The other two - well the second was an old codger of another sandy ginger long-haired cat whose old lady had called him Goldilocks! For his dignity, I renamed him Locksley and mum called him Locks! He had one 'fang' left, looked slightly tatty and was as sweet-natured as anything. He loved to fall asleep on a lap, draped over knees and also died of old age. The last one was Manfred who was a natural expert coward - so he and I got on perfectly! Wink

He was dark and white with a black smudged nose and a dark mask that had slipped a bit on one side. Imagine a fluffy Charlie Chaplin playing Zorro... only more cowardly! That was him. He love to sleep on a lap and when I was working in London, I'd come home in the evening to be followed by him until I sat down - at which point, my lap was his! He died in 1997 and I still miss him. He was occasionally terrorised by crows until one day a blackbird fell down our chimney into the fireplace and it dawned on him that he was actually a bold hunter! He went outside afterwards and meowed savagely at the crows. That taught them... when they'd finished laughing!! He used to sleep on the backs of my shins when I was kneeling up against my bed reading.

minty,
The other difference between cats and dogs is that you own dogs - but cats are people you live with. Only the cat owns himself. One reason I love them so much.

I've got that Verlaine poem somewhere I'm sure, I shall go and re-read it. The bit of Baudelaire reminds me of a line from La Geante which is translated as 'Like a cat at the feet of a queen.'

I am now officially in love with your cat! Such an academicat too! Smile
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'm late....I've tried to find time, but it goes so fast....
anyway, I managed to translate about half of the Prévert poem, so I won't give you my translation, but the one I found by William Baker...I was quite close to his version, actually

Morning for sleeping in

It is terrible
the little noise of a hard-boiled egg cracked on a tin counter
it is a terrible noise
when it stirs the memory of a man who is hungry
the head of the man is terrible too
the ehad of a man who is hungry
when he looks at himself at six o'clock in the morning
in the window of a big store (it's more like a big grocery shop)
it isn't however his head that he looks at
in the display window of Potin's place
he doesn't give a goddamn for his head
the man
he doesn't think about it
he dreams
he imagines another head
a head of veal for example with a vinegar sauce
or a head of anything whatever which can be eaten (I would say, a head of anything edible)and he moves his jaw softly
softly
and he grits its teeth softly
because the world makes fun of him
he can't do anything against this world
and he counts on his fingers one two three
one two three
that makes three days without eating
and it's been no use repeating for three days ( either it's no use or it's useless)this can't last
it lasts
three days
three nights
without eating
and behind these displays windows
these pâtés these bottles these jams (definitely not : its canned food, not preserves)
dead fish protected by cans
cans protected by windows
windows protected by cops
cops protected by fear
so many barricades for six pitiful sardines
a little further on the café (either in the cafe or on the counter !)
coffee with cream and hot rolls (croissants ?)
the man sways
and inside his head
a fog of words
a fog of words
sardines to eat
hard-boiled egg coffee with cream
coffee laced with rum
coffee with cream
coffee with cream
coffee with crime laced with blood!
a man highly esteemed in his neighbourhood
had his throat cut in broad daylight
the killer the bum stole a sum
of two francs
or a coffee with rum (I would say That is,...)
zero francs seventy
two buttered rolls (not rolls either, more like toast)
and twenty-five centimes for the waiter's tip

I've made my comment in blue.... Wink
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For all the cat lovers... Very Happy

Femme et chatte " 'est le 1er poème de la section "caprices" des Poèmes saturniens de Verlaine

Elle jouait avec sa chatte,
Et c'était merveille de voir
La main blanche et la blanche patte
S'ébattre dans l'ombre du soir.

Elle cachait - la scélérate ! -
Sous ces mitaines de fil noir
Ses meurtriers ongles d'agate,
Coupants et clairs comme un rasoir.
L'autre aussi faisait la sucrée
Et rentrait sa griffe acérée,
Mais le diable n'y perdait rien...
Et dans le boudoir où, sonore,
Tintait son rire aérien,
Brillaient quatre points de phosphore
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Minty. I love it!

Am really into reading in french at present... as opposed to being a coward and searching out english language books to fill the bookworm in me.

Thank you for the kitties stories Griffin. I really really love cats, and there is nothing better than having a warm contented cat purring in your lap. My adoptees are so glad to see me back from my travels that I keep being woken in the night with the gingerpuss sitting on my chest and smooging all over my face.... Confused That in itself is tolerable.... but the claws being poked into me as she pads in delight are a bit too much Shocked We call it "pussypuncture" and do not really recommend it as a replacement for acupuncture.... Laughing

I always feel so privileged when a strange kitty wants to be my friend. From the cats view it is probably being blessed with "a gift from the gods"... Wink Laughing Laughing

Enjoying the poems very much. Have been gradually catching up on all the topics since I was away. This topic is a favourite.
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