Skip to main content



Épouvante (1936)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Poèmes pour Mi


Ha ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ho!
N'enfouis pas tes souvenirs dans la terre, tu ne les retrouverais plus.
Ne tire pas, ne froisse pas, ne déchire pas.
Des lambeaux sanglants te suivraient dans les ténèbres
Comme une vomissure triangulaire,
Et le choc bruyant des anneaux sur la portée irréparable
Rythmerait ton désespoir
Pour rassasier les puissances du feu.
Ha ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ho!


Ha ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ho!
Don't bury your memories in earth, you will not find them again.
Don't pull, don't crease, don't tear.
The bloodied shreds would pursue you in the dark
Like a triangular lump of vomit,
And the clanging of rings on the door beyond repair
Would beat time to your despair
To satiate the powers of fire.
Ha ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ho!
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.


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.

Read more here.

See Full Entry

Sorry, no further description available.

Previously performed at:

(As part of a song cycle/series:)

Mailing List