To A Person, They Say, Frigid, Translation Of Paul Verlaine's Poem: A Celle Que L'on Dit Froide
(Poem written on September 5,1889 at Aix-les-Bains, which I found a bit jarring with abrupt exclamations and interrogations, not to mention the repetitive « jusqu’à/aux » which somewhat marrs the tour de terrain of the young lady’s seductive contours. The second person familiar pronoun « tu » is used throughout by the persona.
You are not the most loving
Of those who partook of my flesh;
You’re not the most appetising
Of women other winters me enmesh.
But I adore you all the same!
Besides your body sweet and benign
Overall in its supreme calm,
So generously endowed feminine.
So voluptuous that words cannot suffice,
From the feet upwards lingeringly kissed
Up to those clear pure ecstactic eyes
So much for the good or better be appeased!
Rising from the legs and the thighs
Green fresh under the taut young skin,
Your odour of medical splnts well-nigh
Comes through the smell of crayfish*, looking
Winsome, discreet, a soft little Thing
Hardly slender or the shadow of one,
Out as an apotheose unfurling
To my raucous desire numb.
Upto the budding nipples infantile,
Peaking hardly at puberty of a miss,
Upto your neck triumphant while
Swan-like sail down your body Venus,
Upto these shoulders lush and glowing,
Surging over the mouth on to the forehead
Looks so naïve innocent-looking
Such that the truth may be forfeited,
Upto her close-cut haïr curling as
The tonsure of a handsome young lad,
But whose waves, overall, charm us,
The way they dress without fuss or fad.
Then, going past slowly down the spine
Made for pleasure undulating, up to
The sumptuous buttocks, whiteness divine,
Roundness by the scissor legs apt to
Fluffy Canova! Upto the thighs
That we salute yet once more,
Down the calves, deliciously tight,
Down to the heels of golden rose!
Were the ties that bound us unforced?
No, but they were their own attraction.
Was the fire engendered by us mad?
No, but it provided the heat in unison.
As for the Point, Frigid? Not at all. Fresh.
I said that our « earnest concentration »
Was above all and I lick my lips,
Something surely better than masturbation.
Although this’s also those propensities
Which got you prepared well together,
As you/they say, such improprieties,
Made of me a Lodger.
And I keep you among the/my women,
With regret, but not without some hope
That by the way we may make love when
We see ourselves again, I hope!
© T. Wignesan – Paris,2013
Comments about this poem (To A Person, They Say, Frigid, Translation Of Paul Verlaine's Poem: A Celle Que L'on Dit Froide by T (no first name) Wignesan )
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