Saturday, September 8, 2007

Day 241: Mots d'Heures: Gousses

The girls are pictured being entertained by "Mother Goose" who managed to keep the attention of a room of 3-7 year old children for about an hour - a remarkable feat - at a 4th birthday party today. Exile #2 and myself also went and spent some nice time catching up with some other parents. E5N1 remained cheerful for a while and then went to sleep sitting in a welcome cool breeze on the porch watching the leaves on the trees.

On the way to the party we passed a sign: COMMERCIAL BLOG WITH AVAILABLE APARTMENT. I have no desire to take up blogging commercially, but it still caught my eye - just long enough to realise it actually said "BLDG".

Today's post title is part of the title of a wonderful book, recently back in print after a long time. I found an original version a few years ago after a prolonged search in the out-of-print-books netherworld of the internet. It is a book of obscure French poetry, but one that readers of this blog with little or no interest in this subject, but at least a little ability to read the French language aloud would, I'm sure, enjoy.

Mots d'Heures: Gousses,Rames (The d'Antin Manuscript) by Luis d'Antin van Rooten. I offer an excerpt in which a full translation of a very short work is offered - many have accompanying notes rather than a full translation. However, the real joy is in reading the original poetry aloud.

Reine, reine, gueux éveille / Gomme à gaine, en horreur, taie. "Queen, Queen, arouse the rabble / Who use their girdles, horrors, as pillowslips."
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  1. I was searching for a copy of the hilarious book that you mention, and came across your blog. I'm a French minor at Covenant College and I'm currently taking a Phonetics and Diction course. Our professor thought it would be hilarious to ask us to listen carefully while he read "Un petit d'un petit" (Humpty Dumpty). We were supposed to see if we could recognize the poem, and also listen for some of the thing we'd been studying that week. In our class of six people, it took him reading the poem four times for five of us to recognize it, and the last girl had to be told what it was. Gotta love those bilingual puns...

  2. Welcome - and thanks for reading! I first encountered the book in the same way - during high school French language lessons.


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