Tu n'en reviendras pas (English translation)


Tu n'en reviendras pas

Tu n'en reviendras pas toi qui courais les filles
Jeune homme dont j'ai vu battre le coeur à nu
Quand j'ai déchiré ta chemise et toi non plus
Tu n'en reviendras pas vieux joueur de manille
Qu'un obus a coupé par le travers en deux
Pour une fois qu'il avait un jeu du tonnerre
Et toi le tatoué l'ancien légionnaire
Tu survivras longtemps sans visage sans yeux
On part Dieu sait pour où Ça tient du mauvais rêve
On glissera le long de la ligne de feu
Quelque part ça commence à n'être plus du jeu
Les bonshommes là-bas attendent la relève
Roule au loin roule train des dernières lueurs
Les soldats assoupis que la danse secoue
Laissent pencher leur front et fléchissent le cou
Cela sent le tabac la laine et la sueur
Comment vous regarder sans voir vos destinées
Fiancés de la terre et promis des douleurs
La veilleuse vous fait de la couleur des pleurs
Vous bougez vaguement vos jambes condamnées
Déjà la pierre pense où votre nom s'inscrit
Déjà vous n'êtes plus qu'un mot d'or sur nos places
Déjà le souvenir de vos amours s'efface
Déjà vous n'êtes plus que pour avoir péri
Submitted by Yeşua Aroyo on Sun, 07/05/2017 - 00:26
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English translation

You won't come back from there

You won't come back from there, you who used to chase the girls,
the young man whose naked heart I saw beating
as I ripped your shirt off. And you won't
come back either, you the old card player
whom a shell sliced in two.
The one time you had a killer hand.
And you, the guy with tatoos, former legionary,
you'll survive a long time without face nor eyes.
We head off for God knows where, it borders on nightmare.
We'll slide down the line of fire.
Somehow it doesn't look much of a game anymore.
The blokes up there are awaiting replacement.
The train of last glimmers rumbles in the distance.
The slumbering soldiers, shaken by the dance
let their foreheads sink and bend their necks.
It smells of tobacco, wool and sweat.
Looking at you, I can't help but see your fates.
Brides of the earth and grooms of pains.
The trench lamp paints you the colour of tears.
You feebly drag your condemned legs.
Already, the stone thinks of where your name will be written
Already, you're nothing but a golden word on our town squares
Already, the memories of your love fades away
Already, you only exist because of your demise.
Submitted by Guest on Wed, 20/06/2018 - 02:32
Added in reply to request by gamgin
Author's comments:


More translations of "Tu n'en reviendras ..."
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Gavin    Wed, 20/06/2018 - 15:59

I like this one very much. And it's a new one to me - I really need to listen to more Léo Ferré

It reads pretty great already - some of the English is a little unusual though. Consider these as possible although non-essential suggestions...

I think that first line could use another article - You who used to hit on the girls (or chase the girls)
And then add a "The" to the start the next line.

"whom a shell cut in two midriff."
It's good but not very idiomatic (whom is correct but sounds so formal now)
Maybe just: "Sliced in two by a shell"

And yet for once you had a smashing hand =>The one time you had a smashing (or killer) hand

former Légionnaire => the former legionary - (unless there's a reason to keep Légionnaire)

We head off God knows where to = We head off for God knows where

Already, you're nothing but a golden word on our squares - Maybe "Town squares" to be clear. Although I guess it's obvious after a moment's thought.

petit élève    Wed, 20/06/2018 - 16:17

Thanks a lot. Yes, it's a beautiful poem.

Sophia_    Sun, 15/07/2018 - 16:55

Another video