Another Saturday in a Life

March 04, 2017  •  11 Comments

A letter from my grandfather to his mother, France1918.

 

Aujourd'hui j'ai vu l'aube dis donc 
un anneau de feu emplissait le ciel 
les jaunes poussaient les rouges 
pourpres vers le gris
la lumière du soleil se battait
mais les nuages refusaient de se rendre

Aujourd'hui j'ai vu les corbeaux voler 
vers le nord
les vents du sud les portaient
sur les berges j'ai écouté sans succès 
Rien
Silence des grues

Aujourd'hui j'ai vu des canards dis donc 
Couleur cannelle, derrière les roseaux 
les abattis des castors gisaient sur les rives
la digue rompue, forcée par l'homme

Aujourd'hui j'ai vu la première fleur 
s'épanouir
ouverte alors que le soleil se glissait à 
travers le gris
le jaune poussait à travers les feuilles 
sèches et brunes
fermée tôt
avant que le soleil se couche

Aujourd'hui j'ai vu le crépuscule dis donc 
l'est rose se glissait à travers le gris 
nuageux
le vent tombé, l'obscurité tout autour
les hiboux hululant appellent 
la nuit à la vie

 

Paris, France, 2013.

 

Notre Dame. Paris, France 2013.

 

Crow near the Louvre. Paris, France, 2013.

 

Ducks near the Louvre. Paris, France, 2013.

 

The Beaver. Book of Beasts, circa 1230 CE

 

Yellow flower. Paris, France, 2013.

 

Dusk. Paris, France, 2013

 

Night Owls. Book of Beasts, circa 1230 CE

 

Anne, somewhere in France, February, 2017, graciously offered to translate the poem I wrote for the "Saturday in a Life" post into French. She did a beautiful translation that Marina used in her translating class at UNM. She had her students translate the French back to English and then compare it to the original. I asked Anne if there was anything she wanted me to say about her in this post she wrote: "when I was young, I wanted to be a translator or an interpreter. I was and I'm very found of literature and above all, English literature: that's why, when I first read your poem, so perfect in its simplicity (and matching so well with your pictures), it pleased me so much that I wanted to translate it."

I thought about what photos I wanted to use for "Another Saturday in a Life". The beavers had built a new dam on the clear ditch, but a week later the Conservancy had not torn it out yet and the cinnamon ducks had moved on. Jerri dropped by this afternoon and told us she was getting reading for a trip to Provence, France. We were showing her photos of the villages we visited in Provence in 2013, and I got the idea to see what I had from Paris in 2013 and use photos from Paris to illustrate the poem.  Since there are no beavers in Paris that I know of, and I didn't happen to photograph any owls, either, I photographed the pages on the beaver and the night owls from my facsimile of the Book of Beasts, circa 1230 CE.


Comments

Elizabeth Gauffreau(non-registered)
Such an interesting variation on the original version of the poem and photo series!
T & L Photos
Thanks, Julie!
Julie(non-registered)
Wonderful post Tim .. such beautiful images of Paris. I especially enjoyed your poem
T & L Photos
Thanks, Aldor!
aldor(non-registered)
Nice poem
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