Paul Verlainetrans. James Kirkup (haiku)
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.
Long moans on autumn's
saxophones - wound my heart with
languor's monotones

Wan suffocations -
as hours creep - remembering
days gone by - I weep -

Borne on weary winds,
my grief - hither and thither -
a withering leaf

Click here 1 for another translation of this poem.

Translator's note: Because the English "violin" does not have the resonance
of the French "violon", I have changed the instrument to a saxophone, invented
by Adolphe Sax, who died in Paris in 1894, only two years before Paul Verlaine.

Trans. Copyright: James Kirkup

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