Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Cicada and the Poet by Tristan Corbière

The poet who chanted,
Decanted,
His almost drunk Muse viewed
As he rolled in the nude
On cardboard, paper scraps
And fineries in tatters.
He glued his faded face
To his neighbor’s window case,
To paint his sad regret
Having made—Oh: no, typeset—
His shameful monster of a book! ...
—“But: you were pretty cooked?”
—“High on You! ... Is it wrong?”
Letter-writing clown!
Who so could sing the song ...
And, so not write it down!
—“I thought of returning it” ...
“It’s not perfect, Marcelle” ...
—“Oh! It matters not a whit
“Now,” she said, “if you tell!”

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LA CIGALE ET LE POÈTE

Le poète ayant chanté,
Déchanté,
Vit sa Muse presque bue.
Rouler en bas de sa nue
De carton, sur des lambeaux
De papiers et d'oripeaux.
Il alla coller sa mine
Aux carreaux de sa voisine,
Pour lui peindre ses regrets
D'avoir fait—Oh: pas exprès!—
Son honteux monstre de livre!...
—«Mais: vous étiez donc bien ivre?
—Ivre de vous!... Est-ce mal?
—Ecrivain public banal!
Qui pouvait si bien le dire....
Et, si bien ne pas l'écrire!
—J'y pensais, en revenant....
On n'est pas parfait, Marcelle....
—Oh! c'est tout comme, dit-elle,
Si vous chantiez, maintenant!

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