[The voice of Guillaume Apollinaire, recorded at the laboratory of Abbé M. Rousselot, December 24th, 1913, reading his poetry – “Le Pont Mirabeau” and “Marie”]
AG: Incidentally, there’s a recording of (Guillaume) Apollinaire‘s voice. I don’t have it [Allen is speaking in 1981]- The only place I ever heard it was the Musee de Sonore [maybe the Archive de Parole?] – the Sound Museum in Paris, where there’s (also) a recording of Count Tolstoy, the writer – Tolstoy and Apollinaire – that far back – those do exist (just as the recordings of (Sergei) Esenin and (Vladimir) Mayakovsky (remarkably) exist.
And the thing that he (Apollinaire) is reading is his poem, “Le Pont Mirabeau”, I think (which is a very pretty poem, so I’ll read it – It’s just a traditional lyric, with great sonority, so I’ll read it in French) [Allen proceeds to read the poem in its original French, followed by a version of the same poem in English] – “Under Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine/And flows our love/Must I remember/Joy always comes after pain/ Comes the night, rings the hour/Days go, I stay/ Let night come sound the hour/Time draws on, I remain..” – [But the French is “Vienne la nuit” – comes the night – “sonne l’heure” – rings the hour – “Les jours s’en vont” – the days go – I stay – “je demeure” – That’s pretty – Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure/Les jours s’en vont je demeure” – “Hand in hand let us stay face to face/ While past the/ Bridge of our embrace/ Flows one long look’s weary wave./ Time comes, clock sounds/Days go, I stay/ Love moves on like that water current/Love passes by/How slow life is and/Like hope (or expectation) how violent/ Night comes, hour sounds,/Time flows,I stay..” – Passent les jours et passent les semaines – Pass the days and pass the weeks/Neither time past/Nor love returns – Nor time that’s past, nor love comes back/ Under Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine/Let night come, sound the hour/ Time draws on, I remain.”
[Audio for the above can be heard here, starting at approximately fifty-five-and-a-half minutes in (Allen’s reading of “Le Pont Mirabeau” begins at approximately
fifty-six-and-a-half minutes in), concluding ar approximately fifty-nine-and-a-half minutes]
Expansive Poetics – 91 Apollinaire – 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
Under Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine/And flows our love/ Must I remember/Joy always comes after after pain/Comes the night rings the hour/Time draws on /I remain/ Hand in hand let us stay face to face/While past the/Bridge of our embrace/Flows one long look’s weary wave/Comes the night rings the hour/The days go I stay/ Love moves on like that water current/Love slips by/ How slow life is and/Like hope how violent/ Comes the night rings the hour/Time draws on I remain/Pass the days and pass the weeks/Neither time/Past nor love returns/Under Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine/Comes the night rings the hour/Time draws on I remain