Occitan poetry  980-2006

by Joan-Frederic Brun


Felip Angelau (1955)

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 vňl 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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Philippe Angelau was born near Paris in 1955. He has been living in Périgord - the land of ancient troubadours that so deeply fascinated Ezra Pound - since 1976. Has published many poems in the journal OC since 1974, as well as in other journals, Catalan like L'Aiguadolç based in Valence, Reduccions, in Vic, and in Europe (n° 878-879 June-July 2002). He has published a few books: Sebissas vivas e semena-cur, Gresa. A third should be published in 2006.

Probably one of the most original, albeit little known even in Occitania, of the Occitan poets of the end of the XXth century. His extremely elaborate style suscitates in the reader’s mind a very subtle and fascinating emotion. 






en picar lo sňl emb sos talons fins venián totjorn passat sičis oras del ser entre totas qu'aimavi mai que mai las d'Asia tan fugidissas coma brumas tčbias deu remembrar sedas d'aurňra regard de risičra e pial coma coire sentida moissa e tendra de l'estiu
pivelat tan pivelantas me pensavi lors cambas longas puči pian a pian tornavi montar pelonas entre pelonas en perlongar l'espčra defugissent en resquilhar sus las corbas del seu cňs que la porta mčja-dubčrta me desenvelava

 drňlle las regardavi anar e passar ja čran lo meu País

 a cap d'autona a cap de memňria jos las parpčlas tala 'na pelada d'istňria d'ňlms e de colimators



striking the ground with their sharp heels they always arrived after six hours in the evening. I especially enjoyed those from Asia, so fugitives in the cool fogs of memory, silks of dawn, glances of paddy field, with their skin like copper, sweet and moisty feeling of summer

fascinated, so fascinating
I imagined their long legs and climbed up gently 

eyelids half-eyelids extending expectation eluding and slipping on the curves of their body that the half-opened door was unveiling to me 

I was a child and I glanced at them while they wandered: they were already my Country

at the end of autumn at the end of memories under eyelids as an alopecia of history of ormes and collimators




dos de mai dos de mens oxigenada mai que saura la criničra aeriana fučlhas faubas de la caissičra e son riset tan servicial coma sa rauba dubčrta sul bassučlh de las cučissas totas gainadas d'escura estialada

e beviam aitau dusc'a la nudesa la seuna e la de l'aora

gulas d'Abriu o gulas de Mai en surtir de Biŕrrits nos damandčron los papičrs que per la claror de las prumičras cigarretas los gavians virolejavan

e de la mňrt que ne parlavam sempre entŕ que la tornčssem butar mai lonh coma se nos posqučsse aparar del nient l'enfachilhatge del dire...  


two more, two less, peroxided rather than blonde, the very aerial mane as tawny foliage of the cashier and her smile as welcoming as her dress open on the threshold of her thighs cased with starry night

 and we thus drank up, until nakedness, both hers and that of this time

mouths of April or mouths of May on the way out from Biarritz they controlled our papers while were whirling sea gulls in the clarity of the first cigarettes

And one was continuously talking about death to push it far away, just as if the wizardry of words could protect us from void...  



Pňtas d'un ponent qu'atraversan los neons en plčn brumalhar enmagina res pus del temps 'quí que trespira puči te pega aus clarums la nučch que las trempadas de tos učlhs l'i mancan d'alčn

Flairas frejolčtas que sablas e fialats s'i desplegan entre espatlas e cučissas lusisson los vents de mar de palpas que s'acercan los dčts que serpinhan furtius jos l'estňfa mai te fan tremolar

Potons trŕs 'quí dins lo cňl limpan e desrapan sempre que davalan lavandas fins a las ribas de lutz cambas tčunas lisas me sarran fort la boca e per la tia marina ma lenga vai-včn dins las rebocadas movedissas de tas plučjas d'endacňm mai



Lips of sunset crossed by neon tubes in the full haze, don't imagine anything more of those times that ooze and stick to your bright spots the night where gets out of breath the wet of your eyes

chilly perfumes where spread out the sands and their fishnets between shoulders and thighs, sea winds shine fingers snakily grope their furtive way under textile and make you quiver

Kisses beyond there in the neck slip slip and descend continually, lavanders, until the luminous shores your smooth legs enclose my mouth and my tongue in your estuary Passes and returns within the moving reflux of your rains from out of there 


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