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Certes si nous avions vécu en l'an dix-sept cent soixante Est-ce bien la date que vous déchiffrez, Anna, sur ce banc de pierre Et que par malheur j'eusse été allemand Mais que par bonheur j'eusse été près de vous Nous aurions parlé d'amour de façon imprécise Presque toujours en français Et pendue éperdûment à mon bras Vous m'auriez écouté vous parler de Pythagoras En pensant aussi au café qu'on prendrait dans une demi-heure Et l'automne eût été pareil à cet automne Que l'épine-vinette et les pampres couronnent Et brusquement parfois j'eusse salué très bas De nobles dames grasses et langoureuses J'aurais dégusté lentement et tout seul Pendant de longues soirées Le tokay épais ou la malvoisie J'aurais mis mon habit espagnol Pour aller sur la route par laquelle Arrive dans son vieux carrosse Ma grand-mère qui se refuse à comprendre l'allemand J'aurais écrit des vers pleins de mythologie Sur vos seins, la vie champêtre et sur les dames Des alentours J'aurais souvent cassé ma canne Sur le dos d'un paysan J'aurais aimé entendre de la musique en mangeant Du jambon J'aurais juré en allemand je vous le jure Lorsque vous m'auriez surpris embrassant à pleine bouche Cette servante rousse Vous m'auriez pardonné dans le bois aux myrtilles J'aurais fredonné un moment Puis nous aurions écouté longtemps les bruits du crépuscule
Note (courtesy of Laura Prichard): the Poulenc song is dedicated to Reine Bénard, a French model, and companion of French poet Mireille Havet (Apollinaire’s protégé) in the 1920s. She lived in Washington DC after WWII, and hosted Poulenc during his first North-American tour in 1948.
- by Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki (1880 - 1918), as Guillaume Apollinaire [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Francis Poulenc (1899 - 1963), "Dans le jardin d'Anna", FP. 94 (1938), first performed 1938 [voice and piano], from Deux poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire, no. 1. [text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- GER German (Deutsch) (Ingrid Schmithüsen) , title 1: "In Annas Garten", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ENG English (Laura Prichard) , title 1: "In Anna’s Garden", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 34
Word count: 220
To be sure, had we lived in the year seventeen hundred and sixty, Isn't that the date you see, Anna, on this stone bench And by some mischance, if I’d been German But through good luck I’d been close to you We would’ve spoken of love in an imprecise way almost always in French And hanging passionately on my arm You would’ve listened to me tell you of Pythagoras While also thinking about coffee we would taste in half an hour And [that] autumn would've been similar to this autumn Which, [with] berry bushes and grapevines is crowned And abruptly at times I would’ve bowed deeply To noble ladies, both stout and languorous I would’ve sipped slowly, all alone, During the long evenings Some thick Tokay or some Malmsey wine I would’ve donned my Spanish cape To go out along the road, where [She] would arrive in her old carriage My grandmother who refuses to understand German I would’ve written verses full of mythology About you breasts, about pastoral life, and about the ladies Of the neighborhood I would’ve loved to have broken my cane Over the back of a peasant I would’ve loved to hear music while eating Some ham I would’ve sworn in German, I swear to you, When you caught me by surprise, kissing on the mouth That red-haired serving maid You would’ve pardonned me in the mrytle wood I would’ve hummed for a moment Then we would’ve listened for a long time to the sounds of twilight
Title: Anna - Annie Playden, a young girl with whom Apollinaire was infatuated from 1901-1904. He wrote the poem in 1901, during the first month of their sojourn in Germany, and sets the poem in Alsace. Alsace was lost to Germany in 1870, and only recovered its French status after WWI.
Line 2-6: Pythagoras - a Greek philosopher and mathematician of the sixth century B.C. who developed multiplication tables, decimal system, and geometrical theories
Line 3-2: "Épine-vinette" is a bush with edible, wine-colored berries.
Line 3-2: "Pampre" is a branch of vine including its leaves and grapes.
Line 5-3: Tokay is an Alsatian wine made from vines imported from Hungary.
Line 5-3: Malvoisie is a sweet wine originating from Greece.
- Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in French (Français) by Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki (1880 - 1918), as Guillaume Apollinaire
This text was added to the website: 2016-04-13
Line count: 34
Word count: 251