‘Chanson d’automne’ (‘Autumn Song’) by Paul Verlaine

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.


Here is my translation of this autumnal poem by Verlaine:

The long sobs
Of violins
Of autumn
Wound my heart
With a monotonous

All suffocating
And pale, when
The hour chimes,
I remember
The old days
And I weep.

And I go off
In the cold wind
Which carries me
Hither, thither,
As a
Dead leaf.




6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Thomas Cotterill
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 17:30:50

    Emily, the opening line of this poem always reminds me of the film, “The Longest Day,” where both the French resistance and the Germans are listening to the BBC as it sends messages to alert various cells that the D-Day invasion is imminent!


  2. drewdog2060drewdog2060
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 19:33:16

    Brought tears to my eyes


  3. Lady Fancifull
    Sep 19, 2013 @ 16:36:48

    Oh its been years since i read this poem. Thanks for this timely autumnal post. The first verse, particularly is stunning. And for some obscure reason i can hear Henri le chat noir reading it!!!


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