by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
Translation © by Peter Low

Je fais souvent ce rêve étrange et...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ITA
Je fais [souvent]1 ce rêve étrange et pénétrant
D'une femme inconnue, et que j'aime, et qui m'aime,
Et qui n'est, chaque fois, ni tout à fait la même,
Ni tout à fait une autre, et m'aime, et me comprend.

Car elle me comprend, et mon coeur, transparent
Pour elle seule hélas cesse d'être un problème
Pour elle seule, et les moiteurs de mon front blême
Elle seule les sait rafraîchir, en pleurant.

Est-elle [brune, blonde]2 ou rousse? je l'ignore...
Son nom? je me souviens qu'il est doux et sonore,
Comme ceux des aimés que la Vie exila;

Son regard est pareil au regard des statues
Et, pour sa voix, lointaine, et calme et grave, elle a 
L'inflexion des voix chères qui se sont tues.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bosmans: "parfois"
2 Bosmans: "blonde, brune"

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962) , title 1: "Traum", title 2: "Mon rêve familier aus dem Französischen des Paul Verlaine", written 1901, first published <<1915 ; composed by Laci Boldemann, Richard Czelinski, Willi Czernik, Artur Immisch, Richard Trunk.

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

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "My familiar dream", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ignazio Giacona) , "Il mio sogno familiare", copyright © 2010, (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: 14
Word count: 124

My familiar dream
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 I often have this strange, engrossing dream
 of an unknown woman, whom I love and who loves me,
 and who, each time, is never quite the same
 nor completely another, and who loves and understands.
 
 For she understands me; my heart, an open book
 to her alone (alas), is no longer a problem,
 at least not to her; and when my pale brow is clammy
 she alone knows how to refresh it, with her tears.
 
 Is she brunette, blonde or redheaded? I don't know.
 Her name? I recall that it's sweet and sonorous
 like the names of lovers whom Life sent into exile.
 
 Her gaze is like the gaze of a statue,
 and her voice - her distant, calm deep voice -
 has the inflection of beloved voices that have fallen silent.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 133