The Snowfields.

I recently began reading a new book, the Wild Boy. Written by the Italian author Paolo Cognetti the book has been released in several different countries and languages. My copy is in French (Le garçon sauvage) and it’s the first ‘Roman Français‘ (French translation of novel) I have tested myself with. I’m fairly struggling to say the least. My knowledge of French vocabulary is not at an extremely high level. Nevertheless I’m enjoying it, and enjoying learning French in general. It’s opening up my world in very significant ways and has given me a desire to learn a little bit of others too. Whenever I’m using Duolingo (a fantastic language learning website) I find myself having a bash at ‘plusiers langues‘. So far I’ve done French, Spanish, German, Italian, Irish and Russian. But don’t expect me to be publishing multilingual posts anytime soon. I had considered writing more in French as it’s my strongest second language. For now I aim to continue like so and share some international works in the meantime.

 

le garcon sauvage

 

”Une expérience de la solitude en montagne pour retrouver l’écriture.”

See if you can work that one out for yourselves….

My desire to share some work from this novel has been slightly muddled by the fact that I am an English speaker reading an Italian novel translated into French.. My head is fried with the multilingualism at the moment. I don’t think anyone realises how tiring it can be just until they’ve tried it. My cognitive skills have been retrained to think and develop thoughts in an entirely new structure. And with these new structures often comes new attitudes to general life because languages are formed by different human perceptions. All in all it’s fascinating to say the least…

Before Cognetti begins his novel he shares some work by an Italian poet, Antonia Pozzi. Despite committing suicide at a very young age she managed to produce hundreds of poems. I love the French translation and I’m very happy to share that along with my own attempt to translate into English.

”J’ai séjourné dans les hauteurs
au-delà des sapins –
cheminé par monts et vaux
lumineux –
Traversé des lacs morts – et les ondes prisonnières
m’ont chuchoté
un secret –
longé des rives blanches, appelant
par leur nom les gentianes
assoupies –
J’ai rêvé dans la neige d’une immense
ville de fleurs
ensevelie –
J’ai écumé les monts
hérissée comme une fleur –
regardant les rochers,
les hautes parois
dans les mers du vent –
et, chantant à mi-voix, je me souvenais
d’un ancien été
où les rhododendrons amers
prenaient feu dans mon sang.”

La Route du Mourir, Névés. Traduction de Patrick Remaux.

”I stayed in the heights
Beyond the firs –
Surrounded by mountains and valleys
luminous –
Crossing the dead lakes – and the captive waves
they whispered to me
a secret –
Along the white banks, called
by their name the Gentians
drowsy –
I dreamed in the snow of a vast
city of flowers
buried –
I scoured the mountains
Standing tall like a flower –
Watching the rocks,
the high walls
in the seas of wind –
and, singing in a hushed tone, I remembered
a bygone summer
where the bitter rhodonderons
caught fire in my blood”

Road to Death, The Snowfields. Translation, Aidan Meehan.

antonia pozzi  Antonia Pozzi.

 

 

 

 

 

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