Occitan poetry  980-2009

by Joan-Frederic Brun



Joan-Cristòu Dourdet

Jean-Christophe Dourdet was born in Limoges (Limousin, France) in 1975.

From his childhood, he has kept the wonderful record of Sundays spent in the countryside, time for innocence, playing in the meadows and listening in the background to the music of Langue d’oc spoken by his grand-parents.

At the age of 20, that was for him time for studies and flirts. At his wife’s parents’, he discovered anew the occitan from his grand-parents as spoken by his step-parents, where they lived, in a little village of Charente limousine. That seized him so much that he became eager to contribute to the life of the language by speaking, reading and teaching it. 

The occitan authors like Delpastre, Melhau, Chadeuil, Combi, Rouquette... gave him the impetus to write.


As a librarian and linguist, Jean-Christophe has written some poetry and prose, a tale of which with the collaboration of his wife, which was published in the magazine Paraulas de Novelum. One of his poems, entitled Rebats dau Libre, was granted a reward in a literary contest, Aran de Literatura, organized in the Val d’Aran. Jean-Christophe keeps on writing, aiming at publishing some of his works.

Jean-Christophe also pursues doctoral studies, at the University of Poitiers, in the linguistic field examining stress and intonation distribution in occitan from Limousin.

Medieval poetry: the kingdom of love
XVI-XVIII century: tasty baroque antiliteratures
XIX th century: toward a renaissance
XIX th century (1854-1914):  spreading and sclerosis of the Provençal miracle
XX th century (1920-1965): the anguish of no future
XX th century (1965-1981): "un país que vòl viure" (a coutry that just wants to live)
XX th century (1981-2000): postoccitanisme
XXI th century: just a living literature among many other ones? 


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Me tene druge
Sus 'na broa de nible
Au prund de mon eime
Tusta mon còr
Escupís e sagna
mon arma
Mos uelhs avalits
se nejan de lagremas
dau maucòr
qu'ai de creire
de creire de viure
la vita d'un non-èsser
per èsser.

Lo ser, a luna redonda,
l'unlada dau meu lagui,
en tot lo 'Nivers subrevist
de l'Increacion.



I stand straight
I shrivel
I curl up
I crouch
above the brim of a cloud
I coil up
within my very soul
My heart, beating
My mind, spurting and bleeding
My eyes, fading
blurred with tears
with pain
for I believe
I believe I am alive
non-being alike
of being
to be.
At night, fullmoon,
the howling of my suffering,
through the Universe, doomed
and uncreated.


Flau, flau, flau,
Entau vòla lo pichatau.

Aitau, se pausa,
en plen dins lo vargieron,
pautas contra sòla,
bon ras lo claus daus ritons.

Quau Plumalhon... Pichatau !
De verd, de roge,
Quala coeta, quau tufet !
Oà, Pichatau !

Flet, emb un ulhauç,
Ses tornat dins lo ciau




Flo, flo, flo,
so flies the woodpecker.

so it lands,
in the middle of the orchard,
legs over the ground
close of  the pen of the ducks.

What a plumage ... woodpecker!
Green, red,
you're amazing me.
What a tail, what a tuft!
Wow! woodpecker

smart, in a flash,
you're gone back to the sky


Eslifrauds d'inconsciéncia

'N'auseu dins lo ciau galier,
Los lunons,
Un parpalhòu,
Magre ermitan dau 'Nivers...

Des'trape, prene la volada,
devers Jupiter,
detras las boinas dau sistema solar,
long dau Chamin de Sent-Jaume,
dins l'espaci inachabable.
Me miralhe de fàcia a Rigel, la bluia,
M'espandisse davant Canis Majoris,
Espelisse rasís W-Cephei.

Quite aquela viá, desviada,
m'esconde au mieg dau nonren.
M'esmeravilhe !
Afen, sei pas pus,
ren mas grun d'estelum,
pouvera cosmica,
fiau de vita perdut,
vibracion de còrda tindada,

Mon còrs pulsa,

Avaliment de l'espaci
Sinhau de 'Chabacion
dins l'Infinit...

Sei 'quí sus lo chamin,
las peiras que musiquegen,
Las mias ondadas que responden.

Shreds of unconsciousness

A bird in the big sky
A butterfly,
tiny hermite of the Universe ...

I leave the ground, I fly
toward Jupiter,
behind the limits of the solar system,
along the Milky Way,
in the infinite space.
I shimmer in front of blue Rigel,
I dwell before Canis Majoris,
I appear very close of W-Cephei.

I leave this path, diverted,
I hide myself in the middle of nothing
I'm amazed
Finally, I 'm nothing but
a grain of firmament
Cosmic dust,
thread of life lost
vibrating tinkling string,

My body pulses,
explodes ...

disappearance of space
Signal of the end of all things
within the Infinite ...

I'm here over the road
stones are playing music,
and my heartbeats reply.



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