Expansive Poetics – 91 Apollinaire – Le Pont Mirabeau)



[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] 


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











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