One of the boys I’m tutoring has to learn a new poem every month. He has to learn it by heart and recite it in front of the class. The children have a choice between 4 poems every month – I have to admit that this boy always chooses the shortest one, lol.
This month he chose a poem about winter. It’s quite lovely, and goes like this (translated of course)

Jean RICHEPIN (1849-1926)

Première gelée

First Frost

Winter is coming, killer of the poor people.
Like a cruel baron preceded by his sergeants as a warning, sends down the streets

Frost, white fingers of ice and a harsh wind.
We hear the children’s loud breath as they run away,

Their hands over their mouths,

Stomping their feet on the hard ground.
Even the dogs, unable to scent, flee like arrows…

But how lovely is the first frost!

The window whipped by the cold outside,
Sparkles from within, with delicate crystals
Panes shimmer beneath mother of pearl mica,
Whose design blooms like scrolled acanthus leaves.
The trees wear crackling silk.
The pale sky looks like old silver.
Voici venir l’Hiver, tueur des pauvres gens.

Ainsi qu’un dur baron précédé de sergents,
Il fait, pour l’annoncer, courir le long des rues
La gelée aux doigts blancs et les bises bourrues.
On entend haleter le souffle des gamins
Qui se sauvent, collant leurs lèvres à leurs mains,
Et tapent fortement du pied la terre sèche.
Le chien, sans rien flairer, file ainsi qu’une flèche…

Oh ! comme c’est joli, la première gelée !
La vitre, par le froid du dehors flagellée,
Étincelle, au dedans, de cristaux délicats,
Et papillotte sous la nacre des micas
Dont le dessin fleurit en volutes d’acanthe.
Les arbres sont vêtus d’une faille craquante.
Le ciel a la pâleur fine des vieux argents.

I have a hard time translating poetry, and I’m trying to give the general idea of the peice. It really is quite lovely.
Well, the boys have arrived so I better go see what homework they have to do!

Advertisements