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To Paint The Portrait Of A Bird... By Jacques Prévert

Rating: 5.0
First paint a cage
With an open door
Then paint
Something pretty
Something simple
Something beautiful
Something useful
For the bird
Then place the canvas against a tree
In a garden
In a wood
Or in a forest
Hide yourself behind the tree
Without speaking
Without moving...
Sometimes the bird will arrive soon
But it could also easily take many years
For it to decide
Wait
Wait if necessary for years
The rapidity or slowness of the arrival of the bird
Has no connection with the success of the painting
When the bird arrives
If it arrives
Observe the most profound silence
Wait until the bird enters the cage
And when it has entered
Gently close the door with the brush
Then
Erase one by one all of the bars
While being careful not to touch any of the feathers of the bird
Then make a portrait of the tree
Choosing the most beautiful of its branches
For the bird
Paint also the green foliage and the freshness of the wind
The dust of the sun
And the noise of the creatures of the grass in the heat of summer
And then wait for the bird to decide to sing
If the bird does not sing
It's a bad sign
A sign that the painting is no good
But if it does sing it's a good sign
A sign that you can sign.
Then you gently pull out
One of the feathers of the bird
And you sign your name in a corner of the painting.

Trans. Eugene Levich

Pour Faire le Portrait d'un Oiseau - par Jacques Prévert

Peindre d'abord une cage
avec une porte ouverte
peindre ensuite
quelque chose de joli
quelque chose de simple
quelque chose de beau
quelque chose d'util
pour l'oiseau
placer ensuite la toile contre un arbre
dans un jardin
dans un bois
ou dans un forêt
se cacher derrière l'arbre
sans rien dire
sans bouger...
Parfois l'oiseau arrive vite
mais il peut aussi bien mettre de longues années
avant de se décider
Ne pas se décourager
la vitesse ou la lenteur de l'arrivée de l'oiseau
n'ayant aucun rapport
avec la réussite du tableau
Quand l'oiseau arrive
s'il arrive
observer le plus profond silence
attendre que l'oiseau entre dans la cage
et quand il est entré
fermer doucement la porte avec le pinceau
puis
effacer un à un tous les barreaux
en ayant soin de ne toucher aucune des plumes de l'oiseau
peindre ensuite aussi le vert feuillage et la fraîcheur du vent
la poussière du soleil
et le bruit des bêtes de l'herbe dans la chaleur de l'été
et puis attendre que l'oiseau se décide à chanter
si l'oiseau ne chante pas
c'est mauvais signe
signe que le tableau est mauvais
mais s'il chante c'est bon signe
signe que vous pouvez signer
Alors vous arrachez tout doucement
une des plumes de l'oiseau
et vous écrivez votre nom dans un coin du tableau.
This is a translation of the poem Pour Faire Le Portrait D'Un Oiseau by Jacques Prevert
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: bird
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
COMMENTS
Savita Tyagi 01 December 2016
Read this beautiful poem on Bri's showcase. Sorry for mistaking your identity as of a woman. Had not visited your page by that time. Thanks for the translation.
3 0 Reply
Bri Edwards 25 November 2016
favorite lines: But if it does sing it's a good sign A sign that you can sign. again, i liked this! i shall use it in Section C of November's showcase, with the original of course. thanks. bri :) to MyPoemList also
2 1 Reply
Abdulrazak Aralimatti 21 October 2015
Verily, mysterious one and full of imagery....10
3 0 Reply
Bri Edwards 30 September 2015
oops! looking for an original poem from YOUR hand (for the Oct. showcase) , not a secondhand one! :) bri p.s. too bad, since i already commented on this one.
1 2 Reply
Bri Edwards 11 May 2015
Gino, i only read the English version. gracias. verrrry surrealistic? ? ? well, in parts. i like it. especially: Paint also the green foliage and the freshness of the wind The dust of the sun And the noise of the creatures of the grass in the heat of summer And then wait for the bird to decide to sing what language DON'T you know? bri :)
4 1 Reply
Colleen Courtney 22 March 2014
I love this. Very intriguing! Kept my interest to it's wonderful conclusion!
4 1 Reply

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