"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Poetry in Solidarity with France: “Aube, fille des larmes, rétablis” by Yves Bonnefoy

I don’t really know French poetry very well, so I went looking through my Introduction to French Poetry book and looked for an applicable poem to use as bond with the French people after Friday’s despicable barbarism in Paris.  I wanted to use something from the Song of Roland, or maybe something on Joan of Arc, or perhaps a French song from the crusades.  The anger in me certainly wanted to poke a fist into the eyes of the jihadists, but then I relented and found this sort of secular prayer by Yves Bonnefoy.  

Aube, fille des larmes, rétablis
by Yves Bonnefoy

Aube, fille des larmes, rétablis
La chambre dans sa paix de chose grise
Et le cœur dans son ordre.
Tant de nuit
Demandait à ce feu qu'il décline et s'achève,
Il nous faut bien veiller près du visage mort.
A peine a-t-il changé...
Le navire des lampes
Entrera-t-il au port qu'il avait demandé.
Sur les tables d'ici la flamme faite cendre
Grandira-t-elle ailleurs dans une autre clarté ?
Aube, soulève, prends le visage sans ombre,
Colore peu à peu le temps recommencé.

Here is the English translation by Stanly Applebaum.

Dawn, daughter of tears, reestablish

Dawn, daughter of tears, reestablish
The room in its grey thing’s peace
And the heart in its order.  So much night
Demanded that the fire should abate and finish.
We must keep watch by the dead face.
It has barely changed…Will the ship of the lamps
Enter the port it had asked for,
Will the flame fallen to ash on the tables of this place
Wax elsewhere in another brightness?
Dawn, raise up, take the shadowless face,
Color little by little the time that is beginning again.

Over at Vultus Christi is a beautiful religious prayer, "Litany For France" newly composed by Dom Benedict.  God rest the souls of the poor innocent slain.