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“Chant d’Automne” de Paul Verlaine – French Poem Translation

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Jun 17, 2020
Dead Fall leaf

“Chant d’Automne” by Paul Verlaine is sad and melancholic, yet wonderful, short poem, 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 – Famous French Poem – “Chant d’Automne” de Paul Verlaine

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

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.

This poem is part of my “Easy French Poetry” audiobooks : enunciated and natural recordings of famous French poems + explanations in easy French + transcript with the English translation. You’ll see that I have a very personal interpretation of the poem…

Intermediate & Above Easy French Poetry
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2- English Translation of the classical French poem – “Chant d’Automne” de Paul Verlaine

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

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

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.


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