Guillaume Apollinaire

 

pont mirabeau
Pont Mirabeau – Paris

 

 

Guillaume Apollinaire (26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918) was a French writer of Polish descent.
He is considered one of the primary literary figures of the early twentieth century, whose career influenced the development important artistic movements, such as Futurism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism.
According to most sources, Apollinaire was born in Rome, the illegitimate son of a Polish woman living in the Vatican. and an unidentified man—there is speculation that his father may have been an Italian military officer, a prelate, or even a cardinal in the Church; his friends, Pablo Picasso in particular, liked to joke that Apollinaire was the son of the Pope.
He was raised in the gambling halls of Monaco, Paris, and the French Riviera; during his education in Cannes, Nice, and Monaco, he assumed the identity of a Russian prince.
In 1911 he was detained for a week when he was wrongly suspected of being connected with the theft of the Mona Lisa.
He was wounded during World War 1 and never fully recovered from that wound, that weakened him until he died of influenza two days before Armistice Day

In “Le Pont Mirabeau” ( 1912) the bridge reminds the poet of lost love and the passage of time.

Le Pont Mirabeau

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous
Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l’onde si lasse

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

L’amour s’en va comme cette eau courante
L’amour s’en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l’Espérance est violente

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Il ponte Mirabeau

Sotto il ponte Mirabeau scorre la Senna
E i nostri amori
Bisogna che lo ricordi
Veniva sempre la gioia dopo il dolore

Venga la notte rintocchi l’ora
I giorni se ne vanno io rimango

Con le mani nelle mani restiamo faccia a faccia
Mentre sotto
Il ponte delle nostre braccia
Passa l’onda stanca di sguardi eterni

Venga la notte rintocchi l’ora
I giorni se ne vanno io rimango

L’amore se ne va come questa acqua che corre
L’amore se ne va
Come la vita è lenta
E come la Speranza è violenta

Venga la notte rintocchi l’ora
I giorni se ne vanno io rimango

Passano i giorni passano le settimane
Ma né il passato
Né gli amori ritornano
Sotto il ponte Mirabeau scorre la Senna

Venga la notte rintocchi l’ora
I giorni se ne vanno io rimango
(L.Z.)

Mirabeau Bridge

Under Mirabeau Bridge the river slips away
And lovers
Must I be reminded
Joy came always after pain

The night is a clock chiming
The days go by not I

We’re face to face and hand in hand
While under the bridges
Of embrace expire
Eternal tired tidal eyes

The night is a clock chiming
The days go by not I

Love elapses like the river
Love goes by
Poor life is indolent
And expectation always violent

The night is a clock chiming
The days go by not I

The days and equally the weeks elapse
The past remains the past
Love remains lost
Under Mirabeau Bridge the river slips away

The night is a clock chiming
The days go by not I

(Translated by Donald Revell)

 

 

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