Prayer, Translation of Paul Verlaine's poem: Prière

Prayer, Translation of Paul Verlaine’s poem : Prière

(One of Paul Verlaine’s later poems, after having gone through early success as a poet, love, family life, and yet another kind of relationship with Rimbaud, crime, prison, drunkenness, unrequited love, divorce, and intense inner turmoil. T. Wignesan)

Here am I at Your feet, conscience-stricken as I should be.
I have known all the misfortune for having lost the way
And I have no more hope, and I’m without joy anyway
Excepting for one woman in whom I place holy trust, and whose
worth be
In my eyes more than anything else: hope and well-being so gay.

She’s goodness itself, she knows me from years and years ago
We shared days of gloom, bitterness, jealousy and guilt,
But we kept on going together, without any truce, towards the
ineluctable hilt.
Swayed from side to side, buffeted, at the mercy of all ebb and flow
Over the sea where dazzled the twinkle of stars’ favourable lilt :

Openness, the awful lassitude of sin
Without ever having to repent, nor wishing for either of us any
Well, this sprouting sense of peace, wasn’t it after all Your kingdom,
Jesus, whether you wish I repent withdrawn, hidden ?
Grant us our wish which cannot but be Your own.

© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2013

T. Wignesan

If I might be allowed to say so, I think my "first" love was poetry. Unfortunately for me, the British curricula at school did not put me in touch with the Metaphysical Poets, nor with the post-Georgian school. Almost all the school texts after World War II contained invariably Victorian narrative poems and some popular examples of Romantic poetry. I chanced upon a selection of T. S. Eliot's and Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and a little later on Pope's An Essay on Man and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. That did the trick. Yet, I regret not having taken to prose in earnest earlier than the publication of my first collection: Tracks of a Tramp (1961). There's nothing like trying your hand at all kinds of prose exercises to come to grips with poetry. Or rather to see how poetry makes for the essence of speech/Speech and makes you realise how it can communicate what prose cannot easily convey. I have managed to put together several collections of poems, but never actually sought to find homes for them in magazines, periodicals or anthologies. Apart from the one published book, some of my sporadic efforts may be sampled at of Poems.htm

Last updated October 04, 2013