T (no first name) Wignesan


Prison Souvenirs, Translation Of Paul Verlaine's Poem: Souvenirs De Prison, March 1874 - Poem by T (no first name) Wignesan

(Verlaine was sentenced to serve a term of two years in prison for having shot his erstwhile lover in the arm/hand, the legendary poet Arthur Rimbaud, ten years his junior, on July 9th or 10th,1873, in Bruxelles; yet he was deeply in love with his wife: Mathilde, left to nurse his son in Paris. He was also sentenced to a month in prison in 1885, following a complaint by his mother and another Dave, for drunkenness. Cf. Yves-Alain Favre, Ed. Paul Verlaine: Œuvres Poétiques Complètes. Paris: Robert Laffont,1992.)

About a year now and more, I haven’t seen the butt-end
Of a newspaper. « Could the « Blue Library » be
sufficient?
Sometimes I tell myself, despite myself: « Would you
have believed it? »
Oh! Well! One can’t die for the lack of it. First of all,
it’s undigestible a bit,
A little bit too insipid, the experienced eye gets angry.
But the spirit! Since it laughs and triumphs, lets it be!
And then again, it’s a patriotic pleasure, besides being
salubrious:
Not to want to know anything of this century turned
murderous
And not to continue to watch during this last spate of
trance
This abominable agony which plagues La France.

• There’s a reference to Verlaine’s letter to Lepelletier, dated August 22,1874, and poems titled: Vieux Coppées.

© T. Wignesan – Paris,2013


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 3, 2013


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