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Paysage (1936)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Poèmes pour Mi


Le lac comme un gros bijou bleu.
La route pleine de chagrins et de fondrières,
Mes pieds qui hésitent dans la poussière,
Le lac comme un gros bijou bleu.
Et la voilà, verte et bleue comme le paysage!
Entre le blé et le soleil je vois son visage:
Elle sourit, la main sur les yeux.
Le lac comme un gros bijou bleu.


The lake like a big blue jewel.
The road full of sorrows and pot-holes,
My feet faltering in the dust,
The lake like a big blue jewel.
And there she is, green and blue like the landscape!
Between corn and sun I see her face:
She smiles, one hand shading her eyes.
The lake like a big blue jewel.
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)


Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist. He wrote music for chamber ensembles and orchestra, vocal music, as well as for solo organ and piano, and also experimented with the use of novel electronic instruments developed in Europe during his lifetime.

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