Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 13, National Poetry Month: Rain

" . . . like rubies in a burnished crown . . ."

Below is my translation of Québécois poet, Albert Lozeau's poem "Il pleut", written over one hundred years ago.  Albeit, Lozeau's poem is about autumn rain and not the proverbial April showers.

A sort of "Singin' in the Rain" for poets, n'est-ce pas?

It’s Raining

This dismal autumn day the rain
is strophes. Poets, hold your hearts
like baskets out, despite your pain —
those scarlet wounds the world imparts!

Hold out your hearts to catch each drop;
collect the verses as they ring
with golden rhyme, before they stop.
Oh, let it rain on everything!

It rains in rhythm down the skies
in tender cadences of words
that chant the lilting lullabies,
like rushing wings of flitting birds.

For fellow poets, though we be
a woeful lot, the heavens bless
us with this proof of amity,
and pity our unhappiness.

So, you who hunt the volatile
idea, you who set it down
in perfect phrase, exquisite style,
like rubies in a burnished crown,

hold out your hearts: for poetry
is raining down in golden rhyme,
in incandescent prosody.
And may it rain! Rain all the time!

translated by Catherine Chandler from the French “Il pleut” by Albert Lozeau  (L’âme solitaire, 1907)

Albert Lozeau

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