Thursday, December 3, 2015

Jacques Bertin - In Besançon


Original title: "A Besançon"
In Besançon that year,
A thousand men and women stood up.

Do we do verses with immediate news?
Poet, is it your role to testify for the birthing fire?
Can one write songs on those women
Who put themselves on Sunday² for eight months because it had to be shown
That we were respectable people
And that the strike, it's not carelessness it's strictness

Thus you make verses with the dignity of others
Poet, from your bedroom among your books
Is it fit to salute the working class
From far, when maybe, your verses, she would not understand anything to them?

You'll have to resign yourself to it
The spark it is not me
I go from town to town
I carry the fire, I am the blood
Oh young women, who came down on Besançon
That year, toward the fifteen August while carrying like a sacrifice
Your clamors because it was the first time and you were a big scared
I stay on the edge of you, shy, not daring to do anything
Can one do verses with the solemnity of your gestures and your honor?

You stood up
Suddenly you became the hope of the world
The hope of the world, you, small clothes-conscious ladies and ordinary, without passion
The first day, one of you said "The strike will be long
It's with the feet in the snow that we'll end"
It's thus easy to make verses about courage and about fear

One makes verses with hope, with life
With nails clinging to the reality
With words which have been whispered to me that winter
In Besançon because the wind blows in the back of the poet
And riddles him with words which does not belong to him

² A saying to say that they weren't pay/took a pay leave.
Another version:

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