Les Pas Poem by Paul Valery

Les Pas

Rating: 3.3

Tes pas, enfants de mon silence,
Saintement, lentement placés,
Vers le lit de ma vigilance
Procèdent muets et glacés.

Personne pure, ombre divine,
Qu'ils sont doux, tes pas retenus !
Dieux !... tous les dons que je devine
Viennent à moi sur ces pieds nus !

Si, de tes lèvres avancées,
Tu prépares pour l'apaiser,
A l'habitant de mes pensées
La nourriture d'un baiser,

Ne hâte pas cet acte tendre,
Douceur d'être et de n'être pas,
Car j'ai vécu de vous attendre,
Et mon coeur n'était que vos pas.

Jan Schreiber 19 March 2005

Footsteps Children of my silence, your saintly steps, unrushed, approach my pallet’s vigil, frozen, timeless, hushed. Pure one, divinest shadow, steps verging on retreat, Gods – what gifts I envision borne on those naked feet! If with lips pressed toward me you deign to nourish this dweller in my obsessions with an appeasing kiss, don’t hasten to your mercy. Being and not being is sweet. My life is a vivid waiting, my heart your padding feet. (translation by Jan Schreiber)

8 1 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 30 October 2016

I PASSI Nati dal mio silenzio, posati santamente, lentamente, i tuoi passi procedono al mio letto di veglia muti e gelidi. Persona pura, ombra divina, come dolci i passi che trattieni. O iddii, quali indovino i doni che mi attendono sopra quei piedi nudi! Se da protese labbra, per' acquietarlo, all'ospite dei miei sogni prepari d'un bacio il nutrimento, non affrettarlo il gesto tenero, dolcezza di essere e non essere: io vissi dell'attesa di te, il mio lento cuore non era che i tuoi passi.

20 0 Reply
Brave Hearts 08 February 2015

Bien écrit! Félicitations!

0 0 Reply
* Sunprincess * 31 May 2014

.....................a wonderful poem....thanks for sharing...

2 0 Reply

Great fellas, thanks for the firework translations! It's so marvellous to watch a gifted french symbolist, descibing so lonely pictures...

2 3 Reply
Dave Hayman 10 March 2006

Good job on the translation, Jan! I think I like your version better than that by David Paul in the official Vol.1 of Valery's Collected Works (which is long out of print and damned hard to find!) . Here is Paul's version: The Footsteps Your footsteps, children of my silence, With gradual and saintly pace Towards the bed of my watchfulness, Muted and frozen, approach. Pure one, divine shadow, How gentle are your cautious steps! Gods! ...all the gifts that I can guess Come to me on those naked feet! If, with your lips advancing, You are preparing to appease The inhabitant of my thoughts With the sustenance of a kiss, Do not hasten the tender act, Bliss of being and not being, For I have lived on waiting for you, And my heart was only your footsteps. (The original appeared in some French journal in Nov.1921.)

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Paul Valery

Paul Valery

Sete / France
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