Classical French Poem Reading – “L’Abeille” de Paul Valéry

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Slower and natural readings of the French poem “L’Abeille” de Paul Valéry – listen to my clear French audio recording and read the English translation of the poem.


French poet Paul Valéry believes that poetry has an emotional power that can be almost magical. For him, a perfect poem looks like a magic formula, and the logical meaning of a poem does not matter much.
In fact, he gave one of his poetry collections the name “Charmes”.

1 – Famous French Poem “L’Abeille” de Paul Valéry – Audio Recording

2 – Famous French Poem “L’Abeille” de Paul Valéry

Quelle, et si fine, et si mortelle,
Que soit ta pointe, blonde abeille,
Je n’ai, sur ma tendre corbeille,
Jeté qu’un songe de dentelle.

Pique du sein la gourde belle
Sur qui l’Amour meurt ou sommeille,
Qu’un peu de moi même vermeille
Vienne à la chair ronde et rebelle !

J’ai grand besoin d’un prompt tourment :
Un mal vif et bien terminé
Vaut mieux qu’un supplice dormant !

Soit donc mon sens illuminé
Par cette infime alerte d’or
Sans qui l’Amour meurt ou s’endort !

Easy French Poetry

Most famous and classic French poems read and analysed in everyday French.

(29 Reviews)

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3 – English Translation of the classical French poem – “L’Abeille” de Paul Valéry

Here is my own translation of the French poem. I went for a literal translation so you could understand the vocabulary.

Whatever, and so fine, and so deadly,
is your sting, blond bee
I have on my tender basket,
Only thrown a dream lace.

So prick with your breast this gorgeous gourd
On which love dies or sleeps,
So that a little bit of my scarlet self,
will come to the round and rebellious flesh!

I am in deep need of a prompt torment
A bright and well defined pain
Is better than a everlasting punishment!

So my sense be illuminated
By this tiny gold alert
Without which love dies or falls asleep!

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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