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  • This is a poem by Paul Verlaine on the theme of autumn. I present it here as a companion piece to Bonnie Flach's
    "Autumn is when...". I have attempted a modest translation and appended it below. The French original is wonderful when read aloud. This is dedicated to Bonnie.

    Les sanglots longs
    Des violons
    De l'automne
    Blessent mon cœur
    D'une langueur
    Tout suffocant
    Et blême, quand
    Sonne l'heure,
    Je me souviens
    Des jours anciens
    Et je pleure;
    Et je m'en vais
    Au vent mauvais
    Qui m'emporte
    Deçà, delà,
    Pareil à la
    Feuille morte.

    The maudlin strains
    Of the violins
    Of autumn
    Tear at my heart
    With a languorous

    And ashen
    When the knell sounds
    I remember
    Days gone by
    And I cry

    And I am tossed
    By the ferocious winds
    Here, there, up, everywhere
    Like a dead leaf

    Photo: Taken in The Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh.
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