Saturday, October 5, 2013

Léo Ferré - Louis Aragon - The red poster


Ferré's version
slightly modified translation from wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'affiche_rouge_(poem)
Text: Louis Aragon (inspired by Missak Manouchian's last letter)

You didn't beg for glory nor the tears
Nor the organ, nor the last rites
Eleven years already, how quickly eleven years go by
You made use simply of your weapons
Death does not dazzle the eyes of partisans.

You had your pictures on the walls of our cities
Black with beard and night, dishevelled, threatening
The poster, that seemed like a bloodstain,
because your names are hard to pronounce,
Sought to sow fear in the passers-by.

No one seemed to see you French by choice
People went without eyes for you the whole day,
But at time of curfew wandering fingers
Wrote under your pictures "Fallen for France"
And it made the gloomy mornings different.

Everything had the unvarying colour of frost
In late February for your last moments
And that's when one of you said calmly:
"Happiness to all, happiness to those who will survive,
I die without hate in me for the German people.

"Goodbye to sorrow, goodbye to pleasure. Farewell the roses,
Farewell life, the light and the wind.
Get married, be happy and think of me often
You who will remain in the beauty of things
When all will be over later in Erevan.

"A broad winter sun lights up the hill
How nature is beautiful and how my heart breaks
Justice will come on our triumphant footsteps,
My Mélinée, oh my love, my orphan girl,
And I tell you to live and to have a child."

There were twenty-three of them when the rifles flowered
Twenty-three who gave their hearts before it was time,
Twenty-three foreigners and yet our brothers
Twenty-three lovers of living to the point of dieing for it
Twenty-three who shouted "France!" as they fell.


Monique Morelli's version

Jacques Bertin's version

All poems written by Louis Aragon

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