Treasure Island

Eugene Levich


Femme et Chatte - On the Relationships among Cats, Women, and the Devil


The French poem by Paul Verlaine is provided below my translation.

She was playing with her cat,
And it was a marvel to see
The white hand and the white paw
Battling in the shadow of night.

She was hiding - the scamp!
Under her mittens of black thread
Her murderous nails of agate,
Just like a razor - clear and sharp

The other also played the sweetie,
Drawing in its sharp claws
But the devil lost nothing in this...

And in the bedroom, where, sonorous,
Rang out his lofty laugh,
Shone four points of phosphorous.

Translated by Eugene Levich
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Elle jouait avec sa chatte,
Et c’était merveille de voir
La main blanche et la blanche patte
S’ébattre dans l’ombre du soir.

Elle cachait- la scélérate! —
Sous ses mitaines de fil noir
Ses meurtriers ongles d’agate,
Coupants et clairs comme un rasoir.

L’autre aussi faisait la sucrée
Et rentrait ses griffes acérées.
Mais le diable n’y perdait rien...

Et dans le boudoir ou, sonore,
Tintait son rire aérien,
Brillaient quatre points de phosphore.

Submitted: Monday, February 10, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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Topic(s): Friendship

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Comments about this poem (Femme et Chatte - On the Relationships among Cats, Women, and the Devil by Eugene Levich )

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  • Sandra Feldman (4/10/2014 5:27:00 PM)

    Paul Verlaine, how wonderfully you translated him, my favorite French poet!
    (Chanson d'Automne) Thank You (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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