Thursday, June 28, 2012

The French Country Horse

Class assignment: Write a poem in French...Much easier to do than in English because I don't have the knowledge or critical voice that I have in my mother tongue.  It's like being 8 years old, and being delighted that you can express your experience by writing words.
However, I wrote a translation.

The brown farm horse
Body undulating, a slow dance,
Steadily coming toward his destination. Me,
 On the side of the road.
Then he stood still and close,
So I sketched him.
From time to time I spoke to him in French. 
He didn’t mind my accent.
I thanked him for his welcome.
I thought I heard him say,
“Do not hurry, Madame. Look and see what you can see.
My meadow here, the clouds behind the mountains. 
Poppies... olive trees... vines...
And me.”
“I won’t leave you, 
But when you are ready, continue on your path,
Look around you, see what you can see,
But don’t forget me. (And thank you for my portrait.)
Later, Sandrine asked me if I had gone all the way
To the end of the road.
“No, I failed to reach my destination,”  I said in hesitant French.
Wait...No. Without reaching my destination,
 Yes, I had arrived at my destination!
And my horse, from my sketchbook,
Looked up at me.
And winked.


  1. Ton cheval a une bonne tête! J'ai lu ton poème avec attention et intérêt mais où est la version française? J'aurais beaucoup aimé la lire!!!

    Your horse reminds me of the summer when the children and I attended "La journée de l'enfant et du cheval" in the Southwest of France. Of course, my children were eager to participate along with their cousins. So they rode their horses, ran the obstacle course and had a lot of fun while parents and children too young to ride strolled around, watched their little champions and clapped. It was a great family day. On top of that, the weather was gorgeous.

    Thanks, Rita, for bringing back a wonderful souvenir!

  2. I love your poem! And the sketches too. They both pulled me into the moment and made me feel like I was there. I was reminded of Henri Cartier Bresson, whose photographs are said to capture a moment in time.

  3. Wonderful sketches and fabulous poem!


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