Sunday, January 12, 2014

Paul Verlaine - Poetry

The next poem in the book is one that's unfamiliar to me.  The title is 'Tears Fall in My Heart' and it was written by Paul Verlaine.  The snippet in the book helpfully tells me that he had a passionate temperament and once spent two years in prison for shooting his lover.

Tears fall in my heart
as rain falls on the town'
what is the numb hurt
that enters my heart?

Ah, the soft sound of rain
on roofs, on the ground!
To a dulled heart there came,
ah, the song of the rain!

Tears without reason
in the disheartened heart.
What? no trace of treason?
This grief's without reason.

It's far the worst pain
to never know why
without love or disdain
my heart has such a pain!

I can't help but wonder if it works better in French.  Unfortunately, my knowledge of French is 'un peu' so I can't really tell.  Translations of poems are tricky.  Given that though, this one doesn't sing much for me.
I like the juxtaposition of tears and rain.  The rain is helpful but the tears, not so much!  Especially since the poet seems to have melancholy without reason.  We've all had days like that and the rain doesn't always help.
As I said, this one doesn't do much for me but that might not be the fault of the poet or the poem.

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