Paul Verlaine’s “Chanson d’automne”

This is a famous French poem by Paul Verlaine, so beautiful yet so simple it is learned by elementary school students in France. Verlaine, despite being married, had a love affair with Arthur Rimbaud, another French poet. It ended in tragedy when Verlaine shot Rimbaud in Belgium following Rimbaud’s attempt to break up with him. Verlaine ended up serving jail time for this and Rimbaud ended up quitting poetry after writing for only three years, nonetheless leaving a beautiful body of work.
It’s impossible to replicate the beauty of the French in English, so here are some readings in French:

My Translation
Autumn Song
The long sighs
Of violins
Of autumn
Pierce my heart–
In a languor,
A monotone.
And pale,
When the hour sounds,
I remember
Days of past,
And weep
And I’m going
With the cursed wind,
Taking me here,
And there,
As a leaf
The Original
Chanson d’automne
Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
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.

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