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Spring French Poem – “Mars” de Maurice Carême – Audio + Video

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis on Mar 17, 2014
hail in france poetry reading audio

Perfect French poem for the Spring, “Mars” by Maurice Carême is a poem French children typically learn in school.

Maurice Carême’s “Mars” puts a positive twist on hail – an incredible phenomenon if you ask me! Listen to my clear recording and watch the video of my 9 years old daughter who learned this poem in school.

1- Famous French Poem – “Mars” de Maurice Carême – Audio Recording

Click on the audio link below to listen to my clear recording of Maurice Carême’s “Mars”  French poem

2- Famous French Poem – “Mars” de Maurice Carême

Il tombe encore des grêlons,
Mais on sait bien que c’est pour rire.
Quand les nuages se déchirent,
Le ciel écume de rayons.

Le vent caresse les bourgeons
Si longuement qu’il les fait luire.
Il tombe encore des grêlons,
Mais on sait bien que c’est pour rire.

Les fauvettes et les pinsons
Ont tant de choses à se dire
Que dans les jardins en délire
On oublie les premiers bourdons.
Il tombe encore des grêlons…

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Easy French Poetry

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3 – English Translation of the classical French poem – “Mars” de Maurice Carême

Hail is still falling
But we know it’s a joke.
When the clouds part,
The sky foams with rays.

The wind caresses buds
For long it makes them shine.
Hail is still falling,
But we know that it’s a joke.

Warblers and finches
Have so much to say
That in the garden’s craziness
We forget the first bumblebees.
Hail is still falling…

4 – Pointers for the French Pronunciation of the poem

Regular, everyday spoken French pronunciation and poetic pronunciation differ quite a bit because in a poem which rhymes, you need to respect the rhythm.

This poem has a rhythm in 8 feet (sort of poetic syllables), so to respect it, you should pronounce letters that are usually silent (like a final E) and do liaisons we wouldn’t do when we speak.

In this poem, the rhymes in “ire” are short, so in the “ir” sound, the r is soft, finishing the “i” sound, and therefore counting for one syllable, not “irE” or a strong “irr” that would count for 2 (like the “ore” in the word “encore” in the poem).

Il tomb-en-co-RR des grê-lons,
Mais Zon sait bien que c’est pour rir(e).
Quand les nu-ag-Es se dé-chir(ent),
Le ciel éc-um-E de ray-ons.

Le vent ca-re-ssE les bour-geons
Si lon-gue-ment qu’il les fait luir(e).
Il tomb-en-co-RR des grê-lons,
Mais Zon sait bien que c’est pour rir(e).

Les fauv-ett-Es Zet les pin-sons
Ont tant de chosEs Zà se dire
Que dans les jar-dins Zen dé-lire
On Noub-lie les pre-miers bour-dons.
Il tomb-en-co-RR des grê-lons

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Secrets of French Pronunciation

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5 – Video of the French Poem – “Mars” de Maurice Carême

And now listen to the rendition of the French poem by my young daughter Leyla (6 on this video).

If you enjoy learning French in context, check out French Today’s downloadable French audiobooks: French Today’s bilingual novels are recorded at different speeds and enunciation, and focus on today’s modern glided pronunciation. 

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