vendredi 28 juin 2013

Fleurs d'aubépine, fleurs de glycine (en anglais)


Hawthorn and Wisteria

For Gabriel Nègre

The tides are bringing in the shining moon,
Here, on the misty curtain of words
The stars walk, singing.

The pure breeze arrives to stir the beloved names
In the quiet folds of my heart.
I hear the voice of ancient days
Which delight me to my heart.

Tell me, little white boats,
Sailing the transparent waters of the sky,
My friends of long ago, where are they now?

From high in the old aspen tree
I watch for their return in the fallen night.

Tell me, clear river,
Do they still remember me?

O time,
We’ve grown old together.

O hours,
All night I listen as
The light wind’s caress makes
The sparkling flowers of the peach tree
Fall onto the velvet of the taciturn grass.

And the gentle wind and my poem become as one.
Hawthorn and wisteria!

Translated from the French of Athanase Vantchev de Thracy by Norton Hodges

mardi 18 juin 2013

NIZAMI (en anglais)



‘Whether the whole of astronomy,
Or the fine detail of every science,
I have learned them and on
Every page sought their mysteries’



Nizami, Nizami,
My Friend Nizami, you were both
Questioner and seeker!
You who practised poetry
As a supreme exercise in sweet liberty,
You whose soul explored
With the flames of a seductive fervour
The arduous meanders of life.
You, the great calligrapher of feelings,
The master of sunny and affectionate tenderness,
The prince of cheerful and mocking sadness!


How your trusting soul,
Alert, sensible, calm and pleasing in its grace
Makes my soul tremble on those evenings
When the armies of stars and cicadas
Make the native majesty of the air resound
And the breast of the impalpable nights beat faster.
How your fired lines,
Sacred guardians of time, my honourable Prince,
Make me shudder in the face of eternity
And force my heart to beat on a par with the universe.
Your words, celestial pictograms,
Used to the ink of mists,
Strive to run on the backward side of time.


Your immortal books,
Wells of mysteries,
Surround my sleep
With their ecstatic gleam:

Makhzan al-Asrar, Khosrow o Shirin,
Leily o Majnoun
Haft Paykar, Eskandar-Nameh !…

You who form part
Of the immense family tree
Of the noblest poetry,
You, the visionary branch
Of the eternal Word,
Soul which has so well become flesh by singing
The modulation of colours!


Words dense as fleshy wine
And sweet as the great Sascicala wine!
A true quintessence of taste.
Exaltation with the most radical hope
Which in its magnificence makes nothing of the mourning in things!

My friend,
Faithful companion of men and angels
How my heart cherishes you!...


No, you had no love for the sad words
Which scratch the crystal of the air,
That is why both water and moon
Love to recite your poems.

Quiet paths,
Palpable tenderness,
Trees and mountains
Which never cease to shelter wandering souls!

Celestial notes of your lines
Which constantly complement one another,
Grow richer,


Nizami, my Friend,
You who, like a delighted child,
Used to love the dust of roads,
Crusts of bread soaked in warm water,
The ordinary good mornings of passers-by,
The greetings of sparrows,
A letter from a friend,
Fine rain,
A rescued hedgehog,
The old songs of your melodious country
And its gentle rain redolent with fruit!...

I love you, my Friend,
You who knew how to caress souls with as much certainty
As a hand that caresses
The hair of a sleeping woman!


Solitude was your great old house,
The dwelling made of hyacinth wreaths you joked about!...

A life with a childhood as beautiful as a flight of doves,
Words with the weight of a butterfly,
The breath of breezes with no thickness,
That’s you entirely, my Friend!


Yes, Nizami, you loved
The lace of glances,
The efflorescence of the air,
The buds of the heart
Laughter with the fragrance of eucalyptus,
Luxurious lips
Like bottles of very expensive perfume
In the midst of hours
Stirred by the song of insects.

With your heart which gave
Directly onto the Milky Way,
Onto the veils of the dawn sailing in the sky,
Onto the marbled grasslands of magic Azerbaijan.


The dense red tablecloths,
The embroidered pillows,
The singing oak doors,
The whole world moved
Inside your thoughts!

Ah, my Friend Nizami,
Alas, every hierarchy falls
In the face of Beauty and Death!

Memoria quoque ipsam cum voce
Perdidissemus si tam in nostra potestate
Esset oblivisci quam tacere


Your books are as rich
As consecration wines
Aromatic, fruity, young, charming!

Yes, my Friend,
Whoever dies in the certainty of living in God
Does not die!

You who knew absolute distance,
The purity of the remote!
You who loved the clamour
Of the little flowers of the fields
Which delight the eyes
And the autumn leaves which spin
Around the trunk of the tree
Heavy with a bitter, nostalgic, desolated ending.


You who knew the sadness in the taste of ripe fruit,
The alternation of elation and torment
Under the sparkling whiteness of snow.

You who shouted into wells
Secrets too heavy to bear,
Seeing the heart of every thing,
Understanding that everything is woven with friendly forces,
That the true unity of the world
Is the Poem not the book.


Now the night rests
Its mauve feet with infinite refinement
On the vegetable domes of the trees
And penetrates the gaps in the forest walls.

Your soul becomes  absorbed in itself and,
Brushed by the music of the ether,
Merges with the soul of the Universe
Heart racing,
Overwhelmed by its own brilliance.

Traduit en anglais par Norton Hodges