the final love

Extending final felicitations of dearly departing 2005 to all my friends and readers.

        Ballade du dernier amour         Ballad of the Final Love
Mes souvenirs sont si nombreux
Que ma raison ny peut suffire.
Pourtant je ne vis que par eux,
Eux seuls me font pleurer et rire.
Le présent est sanglant et noir ;
Dans lavenir quaije à poursuivre ?
Calme frais des tombeaux, le soir !…
Je me suis trop hâté de vivre.
My memories are so profuse,
My reason cannot measure up.
Yet I abide only through them,
Only they make me cry or laugh.
The present is bloodied and dark;
In the future, what’s left to inspire?
Peaceful chill of the tomb, at night!…
I have hastened too much in living.
Amours heureux ou malheureux,
Lourds regrets, satiété pire,
Yeux noirs veloutés, clairs yeux bleus,
Aux regards quon ne peut pas dire,
Cheveux noyant le démêloir
Couleur dor, débène ou de cuivre,
Jai voulu tout voir, tout avoir.
Je me suis trop hâté de vivre.
All my loves requited or not,
Regrets encumber, surfeit overwhelms,
Velvety black eyes, limpid blue eyes,
Glancing in ways unfit for telling,
Tresses that submerge the comb
Of gold, of ebony, of copper,
I have sought to see all, to own all.
I have hastened too much in living.
Je suis las. Plus damour. Je veux
Vivre seul, pour moi seul décrire
Jusquà lodeur de tes cheveux,
Jusquà léclair de ton sourire,
Dire ton royal nonchaloir,
Tévoquer entière en un livre
Pur et vrai comme ton miroir.
Je me suis trop hâté de vivre.
I am worn. No more love. I want
To live apart, for myself to set forth
Your hair, to equal its fragrance,
Your smile, to equal its radiance,
To capture your regal aplomb,
To recall all of you in a book
Pure and true as your mirror.
I have hastened too much in living.
        Envoi         Envoy
Ma chanson, vapeur dencensoir,
Chère envolée, ira te suivre.
En tes bras jespérais pouvoir
Attendre lheure qui délivre ;
Tu mas pris mon tour. Au revoir.
Je me suis trop hâté de vivre.
My song, fumes of a censer,
Will trail you, my darling flown,
In your arms hopeful I would
Await the hour that delivers;
You have taken my turn. Goodbye.
I have hastened too much in living.
Charles Cros (1842-1888), Le Coffret de santal, 1873, in Charles Cros et Tristan Corbière, Œuvres complètes, Paris: Gallimard, 1970, pp. 105-106 ― translated by MZ

homage to a government

Homage to a Government

Next year we are to bring all the soldiers home
For lack of money, and it is all right.
Places they guarded, or kept orderly,
We want the money for ourselves at home
Instead of working. And this is all right.

It’s hard to say who wanted it to happen,
But now it’s been decided nobody minds.
The places are a long way off, not here,
Which is all right, and from what we hear
The soldiers there only made trouble happen.
Next year we shall be easier in our minds.

Next year we shall be living in a country
That brought its soldiers home for lack of money.
The statues will be standing in the same
Tree-muffled squares, and look nearly the same.
Our children will not know it’s a different country.
All we can hope to leave them now is money.

— Philip Larkin

    Thus Charles Baudelaire paid his homage to the joy of martial obedience in Le peintre de la vie moderne: Continue reading homage to a government

may bears gobble me

In honor of the winter solstice marking [info]larvatus’ first anniversary on LiveJournal, your host offers this valediction to all literary consumers:

amat qui scribit, pedicatur qui legit,
qui auscultat prurit, pathicus est qui praeterit.
ursi me comedant et ego verpam qui lego.

Who writes loves, who reads is reamed,
who listens itches, who walks by is a catcher.
May bears gobble me, and I who read, a boner.

― translated by MZ

pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo

Here Catullus is concerned with the power relations between poet and reader, and he begins with a phallic threat that reverses the position that Furius and Aurelius, as readers of Catullus’ titillating verse, have adopted in relation to the poet who speaks in the style of an effeminate:

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,
Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,
qui me ex versiculis meis putastis,
quod surit molliculi, parum pudicum.

I’ll bugger you and make you eat it,
Aurelius you queer and Furius you pansy,
who read my verses and concluded,
because they’re soft, that I’m not straight. (16.1-4)

Catullus claims that his performance turns his audience into excitable pathics. His verses have charm and bite only

si sunt molliculi ac parum pudici,
et quod pruriat incitare possunt,
non dico pueris, sed his pilosis
qui duros nequeunt movere lumbos. (8-11)

if they’re a little soft and not quite straight,
and can incite a tingling,
not in boys, I say, but in these hairy types,
whose stiff flanks don’t know how to undulate.

Continue reading pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo

carl schmitt on friends and foes

    Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, Section 3

    The friend and enemy concepts are to be understood in their concrete and existential sense, not as metaphors or symbols, not mixed and weakened by economic, moral, and other conceptions, least of all in a private-individualistic sense as a psychological expression of private emotions and tendencies. They are neither normative nor pure spiritual antitheses. Continue reading carl schmitt on friends and foes

let it enfold you

Let It Enfold You пусть тебя охватит
either peace or happiness,
let it enfold you
спокойствие или счастье
пусть тебя охватит
when I was a young man
I felt these things were
dumb, unsophisticated.
I had bad blood, a twisted
mind, a precarious
upbringing.
когда я был юным
я думал что эти штуки
глупы и безыскусны.
имел едкую кровь,
искорченный разум,
шаткое воспитание.
I was hard as granite, I
leered at the
sun.
I trusted no man and
especially no
woman.
я был твёрд как гранит,
я смотрел искоса
на солнце.
не доверял никому и
особенно ни одной
из женщин.

Continue reading let it enfold you