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Hyde Park (1941) FP 127 no.2

Hyde Park

Les Faiseurs de religion
Prêchaient dans le brouillard
Les ombres près de qui nous passions
Jouaient à collin maillard
À soixante-dix ans
Joues fraîches de petits enfants
Venez venez Eléonore
Et que sais-je encore
Regardez venir les cyclopes
Les pipes s'envolaient
Mais envolez-vous-en
Regards impénitents
Et l'Europe l'Europe
Regards sacrés
Mains enamourées
Et les amants s'aimèrent
Tant que prêcheurs prêchèrent

Hyde Park

The religion-mongers
Were preaching in the fog
The shadows that we passed by
Were playing blind man’s buff
Seventy years old
Cheeks as fresh as a baby’s
Come along Eleonore come along
And what more besides
Look at the Cyclops looming up
Their pipes flying by
But be off
Stubborn gazes
And Europe Europe
Worshipping gazes
Hands in love
And the lovers made love
As long as the preachers preached
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of 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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