Correspondances

French reading practice with side-by-side translation

 Reading comprehension: See the links at the bottom for lessons related to the phrases in italics.

Correspondances, de Charles BaudelaireCorrespondences, by Charles Baudelaire
La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles ;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
Translation

Nature is a temple where living pillars
Sometimes let slip confused words;
Man crosses it through forests of symbols
Which observe him with intimate looks.

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Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
Translation

Like long echos which merge from afar
Into a gloomy and deep unity,
Vast like night and like light,
The perfumes, the colors, and the sounds correspond.

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II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
— Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
Translation

There are cool perfumes like the flesh of children,
Sweet like oboes, green like meadows,
— And others, corrupt, rich, and triumphant,

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Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.
Translation

Having the expansion of infinite things,
Like amber, musk, benzoin, and incense,
Which sing the transports of spirit and senses.

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 Translation by LKL. Translating poetry is an art form; there are many different possibilities, from purely literal (which loses the poetry) to purely poetic (which loses some meaning). See how others translated this poem.
Correspondances est un sonnet tiré du volume de poésie Les Fleurs du mal. Écrit en 1857, il est dans le domaine public. Téléchargez l’original en format électronique pour lire d’autre poèmes gratuitement :

Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk

Correspondances is a sonnet taken from Les Fleurs du mal, a volume of poetry written in 1857 that is now in the public domain. Download the translated ebook to read more poetry for free:

Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk

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 Les Fleurs du malReading comprehension

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