Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Léo Ferré - Arthur Rimbaud - The seven years old poets


Original Title: "Les poètes de sept ans"

And the mother, closing the homework book²
was going away satisfied and very proud, without seeing,
In the blue eyes and under the forehead full of eminences
the soul of her child handed over to the repugnances

The whole day he sweat of obedience, very
intelligent, though black twitches, a few features
Seemed to prove in him acrid hypocrisies
In the shadow of the corridors with moldy hangings
In passing, he sticked his tongue out, both fists
at the groin and in his closed eyes was seeing dots
A door opened on the evening: with the lamp
you could see him, up there, moaning on the ramp
Under a gulf of daylight hanging from the roof. The summer
mostly, vanquished, stupid, he persisted in
withdrawing in the coolness of the latrines
He was thinking there, tranquil and handing over his nostrils

When washed from the smells of the day, the small garden
behind the house, in winter, moonlit
lying at the bottom of a wall, burried in the marl
and for visions crushing his scatterbrained eye
He listenned to the swarming squalid wall bars
Mercy! Those children alone were his familiars
Who, puny, naked forehead, eye losing on the cheek its colors,
hiding thin yellow and black from mud fingers
Under clothes stinking of the fair and old-looking
conversed with the sweetness of the idiots!
And if, having surprised him doing hideous pities
His mother grew scared; the deep tendernesses,
of the child, threw themselves on that astonishment.
It was good. She had the blue gaze, - that lies!

When 7 years old, he was making novels about life
of the big desert where gleams the Freedom delighted,
Forests, suns, shores, savanas! - He made use
of illustrated journals in which, redfaced, he looked at
Spanish women laugh and Italian women
When came, the brown eye, mad, in indian dresses,
- Eight years Old, - the daughter of the workers next door
The little one brutal, and she had jumped,
In a corner, on his back while shaking her braids
And he was under her, he was biting her buttocks
Because she was never wearing pants
- And, by her bruised by fists and heels,
Took away the flavors of her skin in his room,

He feared the pale sundays of december
Where, pomaded, on a mahogany pedestal table
he was reading a bible with a cabage green edge
Dreams oppressed him every night in the alcove
He didn't like God; but the men, who in the musky evening
Black, in blouse, he saw coming back to the suburb
Where the town criers, in three drum rolls
Make around edicts laugh and roar the crowds
- He dreamt the loving meadow, where luminous
swells, sane perfumes, golden pubescence
make their calm movement and soar up !

And as he savored mostly the dark things,
When, in the naked room with closed shutters,
High and blue, acridly held with dampness
He was reading his novel constantly contemplated
Full of heavy ochrid skies and sunken forests,
of flesh flowers with deployed sidereal woods
Dizziness, Collapses, routs and mercies!
- While the neighborhood's rumor matured
downstairs, - alone and lying on cloth pieces
ecru, and violently foreboding the sail !
²in french it also sounds like the "book of duties" as homeworks and duties are the same word.

Live version

léo ferré - les poètes de sept ans

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