Marilyn McCabe is a singer/poet/essayist/friend. She has already appeared on NC with her own poetry, translations, and in song–which makes her a kind of regular, an old favourite, at least an old favourite of mine. Herewith we offer a poem by the 19th century French poet Paul-Armand Silvestre with a Marilyn McCabe translation and Marilyn McCabe singing the French version put to music by Gabriel Fauré. This is gorgeous to hear, especially to listen to while you gaze at the screen reading the poem (or maybe you’ll just shut your eyes and listen). Marilyn’s poetry manuscript Perpetual Motion was chosen by judge Gray Jacobik for the Hilary Tham Capital Collection by The Word Works, and will be released in January 2012. Her chapbook Rugged Means of Grace was published by Finishing Line Press, 2011. She earned an MFA in poetry at New England College.
Paul-Armand Silvestre’s “Le Secret”
Translated & Performed
By Marilyn McCabe
Click the button to hear Marilyn McCabe singing “Le Secret.”
Je veux que le matin l’ignore
Le nom que j’ai dit à la nuit,
Et qu’au vent de l’aube, sans bruit,
Comme une larme il s’évapore.
Je veux que le jour le proclame
L’amour qu’au matin j’ai caché
Et sur mon coeur ouvert penché
Comme un grain d’encens, il l’enflamme.
Je veux que le couchant l’oublie
Le secret que j’ai dit au jour,
Et l’emporte avec mon amour
Aux plis de sa robe pâlie.
I want the morning to ignore
the name I spoke to the night,
and let it, with the dawn’s breeze,
silently, as a tear, evaporate.
I want the day to proclaim
the love I asked morning to hide
and make it in my open heart,
like a grain of incense, ignite.
I want the sunset to forget
the secret I told the day,
and sweep it, with my love,
in the folds of its pale robes.
—Translated by Marilyn McCabe