by Ivan Gilkin (1858 - 1924)
Translation © by Charles Hopkins (1952 - 2007)

Le mauvais jardinier
Language: French (Français) 
Dans les jardins d'hiver des fleuristes bizarres 
Sèment furtivement des végétaux haineux, 
Dont les tiges bientôt grouillent comme les noeuds 
Des serpents assoupis aux bords boueux des mares.

Leurs redoutables fleurs, magnifiques et rares, 
Où coulent de très lourds parfums vertigineux, 
Ouvrent avec orgueil leurs vases vénéneux. 
La mort s'épanouit dans leurs splendeurs barbares.

Leurs somptueux bouquets détruisent la santé 
Et c'est pour en avoir trop aimé la beauté 
Qu'on voit dans les palais languir les blanches reines.

Et moi, je vous ressemble, ô jardiniers pervers ! 
Dans les cerveaux hâtifs où j'ai jeté mes graines, 
Je regarde fleurir les poisons de mes vers.

Note (provided by Poom Pipatjarasgit): Sorabji probably completed this song, but so far the only known page of this manuscript includes the beginning of the poem up to the fifth word of line 5.


Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Charles Hopkins) , "The Evil Gardener", written 2002, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Charles Hopkins) , "The Malevolent Gardener", written <<2006?, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2015-09-07
Line count: 14
Word count: 104

The Evil Gardener
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
In winter gardens, weird florists
Secretly sow plants full of hate,
Whose stems soon swarm like the coils of snakes
Drowsing at the muddy edges of ponds.

Their fearsome blooms, magnificent and rare,
Exuding heavy, heady scents,
Proudly open up their poisonous vessels.
Death itself blossoms in their wild magnificence.

Their sumptuous fragrances destroy one’s health
And it is on account of having loved beauty too much
That pale queens are to be seen languishing in their palaces.

And as for me, I am like you, perverse gardeners!
In the precocious minds where I have tossed my seeds,
I watch the poison of my verses flower.

Confirmed with an original Microsoft Word Document provided by Alistair Hinton.


Authorship

Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Another version of this text exists in the database.


Researcher for this text: Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-08-03
Line count: 14
Word count: 106