Saturday, May 11, 2019

Contrerime LXVI

Sur l'océan couleur de fer
      Pleurait un choeur immense
Et ces longs cris dont la démence
      Semble percer l'enfer.

Et puis la mort, et le silence
      Montant comme un mur noir.
... Parfois au loin se laissait voir
      Un feu qui se balance.



Translation

On the ocean’s steely swell
      an immense chorus wailed
and the frenzied cries exhaled
      seem to transfix hell.

And then death, and the deathly pall
      building like a black wall.
... meantime a swaying light
      shone afar in the night.

Notes: (Published in Les Marges, december 1912) : this is about the Titanic, that went down in April 15, 1912. The “feu qui se balance" probably refers to the Californian, the nearest ship to the Titanic, that did not at first hear the alarm (it was the Carpathia that arrived sooner).

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