French Poem Readings – “La Feuille Blanche” de Paul Valéry

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Listen to my recording of the French poem “La Feuille Blanche”, one of the most famous poems by Paul Valéry.

The poem “La Feuille Blanche” talks about what a writer feels in front of a white page, and the consequences of his actions.

1 – French Poem Readings – “La Feuille Blanche” de Paul Valéry

Click on the audio bar to listen to my slow and fast enunciated recording of this famous French poem.

2- “La Feuille Blanche” de Paul Valéry – French Poem

En vérité, une feuille blanche
Nous déclare par le vide
Qu’il n’est rien de si beau
Que ce qui n’existe pas.

Sur le miroir magique de sa blanche étendue,
L’âme voit devant elle le lieu des miracles
Que l’on ferait naître avec des signes et des lignes.
Cette présence d’absence surexcite
Et paralyse à la fois l’acte sans retour de la plume.
Il y a dans toute beauté une interdiction de toucher,
Il en émane je ne sais quoi de sacré
Qui suspend le geste, et fait l’homme
Sur le point d’agir se craindre soi-même.

Easy French Poetry

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

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3 – The Blank Sheet – English Translation of the French Poem

In truth, a blank sheet
Declares by the void
That there is nothing as beautiful
As that which does not exist.

On the magic mirror of its white space,
The soul sees before her the place of the miracles
That we would bring to life with signs and lines.
This presence of absence over-excites
And at the same time paralyses the definitive act of the pen.
There is in all beauty a forbiddance to touch,
From which emanates I don’t know what of sacred
That stops the movement and puts the man
On the point of acting in fear of himself.

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ 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. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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