Occitan poetry  980-2009

by Joan-Frederic Brun



Benedicta Bonet

Born in 1964 in Sent Irieis la Percha, she's a daughter of Limousin, the country whose natives were the greatest troubadours. She possesses a musical language that fits exquisitely with  the intrinsic magic of things.

She has published three collections of poems of great limpidity that make the reader visit a country of green meadows, forests and clear springs.


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 Provenal miracle
XX th century (1920-1965): the anguish of no future
XX th century (1965-1981): "un pas que vl 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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Filandreu de vita

Lo solelh a raiat
Entre doas nibles,
Lo solelh m'a parlat
Era quo un raibe ?
Me coijei dins la tauvera
A l'ombra d'un tantaridier,
Lo corps desplejat
Sur un liech de tranuja,
Dins la sentor de la prima.
M'es d'eivs que m'endurmia,
Quand tot d'un cp,
Un quauquaren obludat
Me remudava las tripas;
Era qu lo bonur
Que frotjava en me ?
L'envia de viure me tornava
Mai prunda que jamai...
Auria tant volgut per totjorn
Demorar entau.


Filament of life

The sun shone
between two clouds,
The sun spoke to me
was this a dream?
I lie down on the edge of the field
In the shade of an ash tree,
Speading my body
Over a bed of couch grass,
In the scent of spring.
I guess I was falling asleep,
While suddenly
Thre was something forgotten
moving my guts ;
Was it bliss
growing inside me ?
The will of living was turning back to me
Deeper than ever
Id have wanted for ever more
remain like this.



'La venia drech de ma charn
En credar, en dreibir los uelhs,
E cp sec la reconeguei :
'L'era pita mas 'l'era mi
Ma filha per tota 'na vita
E daus mandins plens de soleh.
Dama Natura la man me prenia
E sur la via de mair me menava,
Un poton, dau lach, 'na paraula :
Mair devenia, mair demoraria.
Avia vint ans e prenia en mans
Lo rtle esperat que daus fums surtia
En nu mes a madurason 'ribat.




She was straight coming from my flesh
While crying, while opening her eyes,
And I immediately recognized her :
She was little but she was mine
My daughter for a whole life
And sunfilled mornings
Lady Nature was taking my hand
And led me on the way of motherhood
A kiss, some milk, a word :
I became a mother, Id remain a mother.
I was twenty and kept in my hands
The expected role that came out from the fog
Arriving after nine months at maturation.



Bruch dins lo brun

Lo durmir me ven gran.
'Na bramada de vacha
D'alai enguera venguda
M'a tota sumsida.
Ensus los fotuts traus
N'an decessat de petar.
Las sori au granier,
Que cavalen sens saber
Qu far, ente 'nar,
Ne 'doben ren a l'afar.
Fau mina de m'acostumar
Au misteri de la nuech ;
Mas la pus v-rra eidia
Subitament me traucha
E au ventre me balha
La paur negra.
Me fie que ne'n ai plan
Per cent set ans enguera
A far petar entau los uelhs.
Me vire, me desvire,
Dins lo linu,
Que fai mas 'na pelha.
E la suada que l'i trape
Se boira a l'alen
Que trbe en dire.


Noise in the darkness

Sleep hardly comes.
the mooing of a cow
come from far away
has chilled me to the bone.
Above, those damned wooden beams
Never stopped creaking.
Mice in the attic
That rush about, without knowing
What to do and where to go
Do not help matters.
I pretend I get used
to the mystery of the night.
But the most dreadful idea
Suddenly shoots me through
And puts in my belly
A bad scare
Its likely it will last again
For one hundred and seven years
Making my eyes flash.
I keep tossing and turning
in the sheets
nothings any good!
And the cold sweat it brought me out
blends with my breath
which has come short.


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