Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Marie Dauguet: ´Printemps I' (1913)

Between 1911 and 1924, Marie Dauguet published no collection of poetry. This is part I of a three-part poem printed in 'Mercure de France' on 16 July 1913, i.e. it is at or just after a turning point in her career as a poet. She cites Bergson, there are traces of Nietzsche, there is a clear allusion to the carpe diem theme from Ronsard's famous poem. The other two parts of the poem will follow when translated.




Life, that is to say consciousness

launched into matter.




The sun has melted just as fruit can do inside

The mouth, and in the forest silky murmurs die,

On moss the moving breezes suddenly subside –

And moist-eyed Venus now appears low in the sky.


At the top of the woods, no single quiver shows

Itself, and at their edge I settle silently;

And I would like to pluck, as one would do a rose,

A bullfinch’s familiar flight quite close to me.


Here with angelic gentleness night has arrived,

Its censers burning with misty intoxication;

The earth’s strong scent with shadows mingles uncontrived:

The pain of thinking has its own strange captivation.


Far off I hear the violet bells’ sound slowly die

And like some mystic influx it seems everywhere;

Let’s think no more… let’s dream… above all let’s not cry

Before the desert sky with silent depths of air.


Resign yourself, be silent, let both your hands make sure

Of all the furtive treasures that each hour bestows

And no more raise them up towards that senseless lure:

The empty sky where so much human sobbing goes.


If the divinity for which we search and wait

Should one day come, within us it will have its source,

Its rhythmic beauty from my verse will emanate,

And all its mystery, dissolved, through my veins course.


If by Life’s vital force I upwards dare be borne,

Better than amber or than iron, with utmost verve

And to its impulse yield my marrow, every nerve,

Beneath my raptured brow a god might yet be born.

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