by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876 - 1947)
Translation © by Shawn Thuris

La statue de bronze
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
La grenouille
Du jeu de tonneau
S'ennuie, le soir, sous la tonnelle...
Elle en a assez!
D'être la statue
Qui [hurle en silence]1 un grand mot: Le Mot!

Elle aimerait mieux être avec les autres
Qui font des bulles de musique
Avec le savon de la lune
Au bord du lavoir mordoré
Qu'on voit, là-bas, luire entre les branches...

On lui lance à coeur de journée
Une pâture de pistoles
Qui la traversent sans lui profiter

Et s'en vont sonner
Dans les cabinets
De son piédestal numéroté!

Et le soir, les insectes couchent
Dans sa bouche...

Mais elle est rivée à la tribune,
Ouverte à l'amour, ouverte au davier,
Vers la lune qui souffre, au tournant du sentier,
D'une indigestion d'ouate thermogène...

Au loin un follet cherche quelque chose
 Qu'il a perdu dans les roseaux 
Et réveille au fond de la mare close
 L'hydrophile noir dans son château d'eau...

Mon enfance triste, à l'affût des charmes,
 Le soir allait te voir bayer,
 Prête à t'écouter, au bord de tes larmes, 
Gobeuse de temps couverts, et de blâmes,
 Comme moi, poète, dans mon verger...

A. Satie sets stanzas 1-5

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Satie: "va prononcer"


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 (Shawn Thuris) , "The bronze statue", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Dr Melissa Givens

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 32
Word count: 183

The bronze statue
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The frog
Of the barrel game
Grows weary at evening, beneath the arbor...
She has had enough!
Of being the statue
Who is about to [hurl into the silence]1 a great word: The Word!

She would love to be with the others
Who make music bubbles
With the soap of the moon
Beside the lustrous bronze tub
That one sees there, shining between the branches...

At midday one hurls at her
A feast of discs
That pass through without benefit to her

And will resound
In the chambers
Of her numbered pedestal!

And at night, the insects go to sleep
In her mouth...


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Satie: "pronounce"
2 A translation for the part of the poem not set by Satie has been provided by Melissa Givens:
But she is riveted to her column,
Open to love, open to the dentist's forceps,
Towards the moon that suffers, at the turn of the path,
An overdose of thermogenic cotton*...

In the distance a scatterbrain seeks something
  That he lost in the reeds
And awakens at the bottom of the pond
  The black beetle in its water tower ...

My sad childhood, on the lookout for diversions,
  At evening went to see you gaping,
  Ready to listen to you, at the edge of your tears,
Gobbler of cloudy skies, and of blame,
  Like me, poet, in my orchard ...
* Note (provided by Melissa Givens): A then new-fangled improvement on the mustard poultice, very much like the Salonpas and Tiger Balm heat patches we have now.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Shawn Thuris, (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.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 22
Word count: 106