The sea (La mer)

English translation

The sea

The sea,
We see dancing along the shores of clear bays,
Shimmers with silver
The sea
Changing shimmers
Under the rain
The sea
With the summer sky
Mix up her white horses
With the angels so pure
The infinite azure shepherdess
By the ponds
Those big wet reeds
Those white birds
And those rusty houses
The sea
Has cradled them
Along the shores of clear bays
And with a love song
The sea
Has rocked my heart for life
Submitted by purplelunacy on Tue, 10/08/2010 - 15:35
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La mer

La mer
qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
a des reflets d'argent,
la mer,
des reflets changeants
sous la pluie.
La mer


UserPosted ago
Tinson KT1 year 27 weeks
zse4xdr54 years 23 weeks
mbg5 years 6 weeks
zse4xdr5     October 15th, 2012

great idiomatic English translation - thanks a lot

gilgamesh969     August 12th, 2013

Thanks for the translation. It got me thinking -
Les moutons is the french word for whitecaps and for sheep. (metaphor, zoomorphism?) So the references to shepherdess and moutons is a nice play on words. If you were to keep it, you might say:

I took a shot at:

annabellanna     August 13th, 2015

Actually these horses look like a quite strange choice. I think that "blanc moutons" is referred to the clouds, and the sea is the sheperd that in his reflections make their shapes such indistinguible as you can confound them with angels.
I think it could be: "the sea acts like a jolly sheperd toward the sky, mixing angels and sheep.."
Without sheep, a sheperd looks a little bit out of his place, in my thoughts... Wink

annabellanna     August 13th, 2015

I apologize: I realize now that "moutons" also means the white foamy tops of the waves... Smile
In Italian language high waves are called "cavalloni"(big horses)!
I could have understood it before... Sad

Tinson KT     September 20th, 2015


Rosseau     December 31st, 2015

Just one suggestion: Charles Trenet was born and raised in Languedoc and reputedly wrote the poem after a train ride by the sea at the age of 16. An "etang" is a pond elsewhere in France but the Languedoc-Rousillon coast of La Mer is lined with bodies of water that are called etangs. These are far more than ponds. For example, the Etang de Thau is 21 km long, complete with white birds, banks of reeds and not a few terracotta colored houses. Something like "lagoon" would be a more fitting translation in my opinion.