Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"A maman" by Victor Hugo

A maman

Mon coeur me dit que c'est ta fete
(je crois toujours mon coeur quand il parle de toi)
maman que faut-il donc que ce coeur to souhaite?
De tresours? - des honneurs? - des trones ? - non, ma foi
Mais un bonheur egal au mien quand je te vois.

In France, I spent a good deal of time reading. I purchased a song book for children that had French folk songs, tales, and poems for children. As I was singing through them, I thought of the time I spent singing new songs to Caitlin as she lay in my arms awake or sleeping. I turned the page and my heart skipped a beat. I saw a picture of a child offering a note to his mother, and on the opposite page is this poem by Victor Hugo. My ability to translate French is rough at best and by hurriedly using the French/English dictionary I may have actually muddied my understanding a bit, but I think my heart figured it out.

My heart tells me that it is your day (holiday or birthday)
I always cross myself when I think/speak of you
Mama, what is it that you wish for?
Treasures? Honors? Trophies? - No, my faith
There is no happiness to equal (that of) when I see you

Have you see the way a mother looks upon her child? Have you truly studied the complexity of that expression? Look again when your mother looks at you. Linger a while longer and watch a mother listen to her child speak or watch her baby sleep. There is no happiness equal to loving.

[My apologies for not using the proper accents in the French text. And if you translate better than I, please, I welcome your corrections!]

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