Poets in the Making

This week, the advanced French class is studying surrealist poetry.  After some conversational practice, we take turns pronouncing and translating French texts.  To supplement our studies, we translated an excerpt from André Breton’s 1924 manifesto on surrealism.  He puts forth that an artist should first clear their mind from sublime intentions and earthly distractions.  Once this state of openness has been achieved, the writer should allow their pen to simply follow the mind’s musings.  

We practiced this method of composition, and I think that we were all pleasantly surprised by the results.  Here are some of the poems that the class wrote - don’t worry, I’ve also roughly translated them to English!

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Le café
Me donne du bonheur
Couchant dans ma tasse blanche
Les fleurs se réveillent en chantant pour son énergie
Les sons hauts et lourds
Quand arrive le soleil, le café sourit
Ah, j’ouvre mes bras
J’ouvre mes yeux
J’ouvre mon cœur
à ton pureté marron
Les paysans et les rois, tout le monde peut t’avoir
Mais tu es le mien seulement
Le mien

Coffee
Gives me happiness
Sleeping in my white cup
The flowers awake singing for its energy
The high and heavy sounds
When the sun arrives, the coffee smiles
Ah, I open my arms
I open my eyes
I open my heart
To your brown purity
The peasants and the kings, everyone can have you
But you are mine only
Mine
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Les roses sont une rivière
La montagne est un forêt
Je me suis jetée dans la piscine
Dans cette journée trop bleue
Le soir je me suis réveillée
D’un songe magique et puissant comme mon cœur
Ce cœur qui batte trop forte
Dans cette journée trop bleue.

The roses are a river
The mountain is a forrest
I fell in the pool
In this too blue day
In the evening I woke myself
From a magical and powerful dream like my heart
This heart that beats too strong
In this too blue day
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Que faites-vous, vous qui courrez?
Avec vos nouveaux chaussures
Écrivant sur la rue
L’encre gris-noir
Que dessinez-vous
Qu’est-ce que vous voulez dire au monde?
Si vous devez partir,
Pourquoi pas
Soyez un oiseau et
Voler?
Les dessins des pieds sont plus jolis dans le ciel.

What are you doing, you who runs?
With your new shoes
Writing on the street
The dark grey ink
What do you draw
What do you want to say to the world?
If you should leave,
Why not
Be a bird and
Fly?
The drawings of feet are more pretty than the sky.
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