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French Poem Readings

“Chant d’Automne” de Paul Verlaine

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis on June 7, 2015

This sad and melancholic, yet wonderful, short poem is also charged with historic meaning. You might be familiar with the first 2 verses which were used by General de Gaulle, chief of the resistance and future president of the liberated France, in the days and hours preceding the launch of D-day.

1- Poem

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon cœur
D’une langueur

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure;

Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

2- Translation

The long laments
Of autumn’s
Wound my heart
With a monotone

All suffocating
And pale, when
The hour chimes,
I remember
The old days
And I cry;

And I go
With the nasty wind
That is carrying me
Here and there
Similar to the
Falling leaf.

Arthur Rimbaud – by Henri Fantin Latour

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