Friday, June 27, 2014

Jacques Bertin - Nazim Hikmet - The Songs of Men

Original Title: "Les Chants des Hommes"
Text: Nazim Hikmet
The songs of men
are more beautiful than themselves
Heavier with hope
More durable
More than men
I have loved their songs
I could live without men
Never without the songs
It happened I was unfaithful
to my lover
Never to the songs I have sung for her
Never either have the songs deceived me
Whatever their language
I have always understood all the songs
Nothing in this world
Of all what I could drink and eat
Of all the countries I have travelled to
Of all what I could touch and understand
Nothing, nothing
Has made me as happy
As the songs
The songs of men


  1. Thank you for sharing your translations. I was wondering if it wasn't a pity to translate "hommes" by "men" (excluding women) and not by "humans" or any generic word for the human race ?

    1. I hesitated but it's more and more used that way without excluding women (like the title of the movie "Children of men"), also I found it more personal than using "mankind" or "humans" (which has a very biological tone to it)


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