Éloge de la sieste (English translation)


Éloge de la sieste

Je veux faire aujourd'hui l'éloge de la sieste,
Havre voluptueux des lents après-midis,
Quand, dans la chambre obscure aux contours attiédis,
S'égare la parole et s'estompe le geste.
Derrière les volets baye le val agreste,
Et le corps dans les draps doucement s'engourdit ;
Sur le mol oreiller roule, du Paradis,
La houle du sommeil en divins anapestes.
Bienheureux, les yeux clos, on cesse de lutter ;
On survole, éthéré, des pays enchantés
Qu'un reste de raison nonchalamment effleure.
Cependant, les échos de bronze du clocher
Nous informent de loin qu'il est déjà cinq heures
Et que l'on pourra donc bientôt se recoucher.
Submitted by JadisJadis on Sun, 15/11/2020 - 13:39
Last edited by JadisJadis on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 10:19
Submitter's comments:

Bayer (dated) = to sit idle, to gap at crows. Often confused with bâiller (= to yawn).

English translationEnglish
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In Praise of Napping

Versions: #1#2
Today I wish to give praise to napping,
Voluptuous haven of slow afternoons,
When, in a dark room with obscured contours
Speech wanders and gestures fade away.
Behind the shutters gapes the rustic valley,
And the body grows gently numb in the sheets;
On the soft pillow roll, from Paradise,
The wavelets of sleep in divine anapests.
Blessed, with eyes closed, one stops fighting;
One surveys, ethereal, enchanted lands
That a vestige of sense nonchalantly brushes upon.
Yet, bronze echoes from the bell tower
Remind us from afar that it's already five o'clock
And soon, we can nestle right back into bed.
thanked 4 times
Submitted by PontNeufPontNeuf on Mon, 30/11/2020 - 00:03
Added in reply to request by JadisJadis
Last edited by PontNeufPontNeuf on Sun, 06/12/2020 - 00:35
JadisJadis    Mon, 30/11/2020 - 07:53

Merci ! Un peu mot à mot peut-être, mais je ne vois pas de contresens.
Juste : On the soft pillow rolls / The wavelets of sleep, ce serait "roll" à mon avis, vu que le sujet est au pluriel.

PontNeufPontNeuf    Sun, 06/12/2020 - 00:23

You're most welcome, it's a beautiful poem!

Correct on both counts, I was being a bit shy about poetic license, as this is my first attempt to provide an internet translation. I do think your lines translated quite directly for the most part, with little need to adjust structure.

Fixed that lack of verb agreement, sorry about that.

PontNeufPontNeuf    Sun, 06/12/2020 - 00:40

Looking back, I see there are a few spots that lacked grace, and maybe some of the intuitive sense of the original. And I mistranslated "clocher". Tried to address some of that...

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