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Fagnes de Wallonie (1940) FP 107 no.3

Part of a series or song cycle:

Banalités (FP 107)

Fagnes de Wallonie

Tant de tristesses
plénières Prirent mon coeur aux fagnes désolées
Quand las j’ai reposé dans les sapinières
Le poids des kilomètres pendant que râlait
le vent d’ouest
J’avais quitté le joli bois
Les écureuils y sont restés
Ma pipe essayait de faire des nuages
Au ciel
Qui restait pur obstinément
Je n’ai confié aucun secret sinon une chanson énigmatique
Aux tourbières humides
Les bruyères fleurant le miel
Attiraient les abeilles
Et mes pieds endoloris
Foulaient les myrtilles et les airelles
Tendrement mariée
La vie s’y tord
En arbres forts
Et tors
La vie y mord
La mort
À belles dents
Quand bruit le vent

Walloon moss-hags

So much utter sadness
Seized my heart in the desolate upland moss-hags
When weary I set down in the fir plantation
The weight of kilometres to the roar
Of the west wind
I had left the pretty wood
The squirrels stayed there
My pipe tried to make clouds
In the sky
Which stubbornly stayed clear
I confided no secret but an enigmatic song
To the dank peat-bogs
The honey-fragrant heather
Attracted the bees
And my sore feet
Crushed bilberries and whortleberries
Tenderly united
Life is gnarled there
In strong trees
And twisted
Life there bites
When the wind howls
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (F7 January 1899 – 30 January 1963) was a French composer and pianist. His compositions include mélodies, solo piano works, chamber music, choral pieces, operas, ballets, and orchestral concert music.

Read the full Wikipedia article here.

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Guillaume Apollinaire  (26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918) was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic of Polish-Belarusian descent.

Apollinaire is considered one of the foremost poets of the early 20th century, as well as one of the most impassioned defenders of Cubism and a forefather of Surrealism. He is credited with coining the term "cubism" in 1911 to describe the emerging art movement and the term "surrealism" in 1917 to describe the works of Erik Satie. The term Orphism (1912) is also his. Apollinaire wrote one of the earliest Surrealist literary works, the play The Breasts of Tiresias (1917), which became the basis for the 1947 opera Les mamelles de Tirésias.

Apollinaire was active as a journalist and art critic for Le Matin, L'Intransigeant, L'Esprit nouveau, Mercure de France, and Paris Journal. In 1912 Apollinaire cofounded Les Soirées de Paris, an artistic and literary magazine.

Two years after being wounded in World War I, Apollinaire died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918; he was 38.

Taken from Wikipedia. Read more here.

Click here to read some of his poetry.

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