Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Contrerime XVI

Toulet made an appearance with others of the Fantaisistes in the first issue of Le Cahier des Poètes, November 1912. He published four poems under the general heading Madrigaux. The first three were printed under the group title L’eau qui courait (Running water), and were titled individually Agesipolis (to become Contrerime XXXVI), Le Cocher de Fiacre (Contrerime XXXVI) and Pyrenées (Contrerime XXXIII). The fourth poem, under the heading Querelles was called La Paille Rompue – I guess you could call it “The Last Straw”. It was to become, with two very small alterations, Contrerime XVI. Toulet substituted Trottoir de l' Élysé'-Palace for Trottoir de l'Élysée-Palace in the first line for metrical rigour, and in the second line - Et toi, nuit en velours became Dans la nuit en velours.

Trottoir de l' Élysé'-Palace
Dans la nuit en velours
Où nos coeurs nous semblaient si lourds
Et notre chair si lasse ;

Dôme d' étoiles, noble toit,
Sur nos âmes brisées,
Taxautos des champs-élysées,
Soyez témoins ; et toi,

Sous-sol dont les vapeurs vineuses
Encensaient nos adieux -
Tandis que lui perlaient aux yeux
Ses larmes vénéneuses.

By the Elysée palace
In the velvety eve
When our hearts seemed to heave
And our flesh without solace;

Dome of stars, noble roof,
See our souls on the rack,
Champs-Elysées taxis,
Bear witness; and you

Basement bar, bless our goodbyes
With winy fumes
While tears of doom
Make pearls of her eyes.

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