Occitan poetry  980-2006

by Joan-Frederic Brun


 Joan-Pau Creissac (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 vòl viure" (a country 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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Jean-Paul Creissac. Born in Montpellier, now living in Montpeyroux, famous for its wine in the wine country North of Montpellier. Distillates like an exquisite vintage a very limpid poetry that preserves for eternity the subtle emotion of simple flashes of everyday life, in an extremely pure Occitan close to that of his neighbor and friend Max Rouquette.   


Quand per astre te reviras
Una filha passant te sorís

Tos uòlhs cèrcan los sieus
Coma un abisme se dobrís

Una filha bruna amb un agach
Coma un mistèri t'acotís

La vida raja al canalet del grífol
E sabes lo temps passadís

Aquesta filha bruna ara ritz
E longtemps coma una brasa enlusís


Lo trin lentament s'alunha
Siás aquí sul cai a l'espiar partir

Un darrièr còp la cara palla
D'una filha bruna tras la vitra

Una mena de grand silenci
Los viatjaires se prèissan pels corredors

Los nauts-parlaires cridan los oraris
Defòra la circulacion vai e ven

Demòras aquí destimborlat
Te sovenent d'instants clars esbleugissents


Un pas tressautava sul pont
Leugièr coma una ironda

Era benlèu un dimenge
Dins la vila en cauma

Dins l'aiga los ostals
Fasián regardèla estranhes

Son peu nadava fòl
Una cadeneta fina a la cavilha

Era benlèu dimenge dins la vila
Al luònh sabiam l'anar dels òmes




When luckily you turn looking back there is a girl that passes and smiles to you. 

Your eyes seek for her, like an abyss that opens. 

A brunette with a glance like a mystery follows you.

Life keeps flowing from the pipe of the fountain and you know time is fugitive

 This brunette is now laughing, and for a long time she will illuminate like embers




The train slowly moves away.  You stay there on the quay looking at it while it leaves.  For the last time the pale face of a brunette through the window pane.  A kind of tremendous silence. Travelers press themselves in the corridors.  Microphones are screaming schedules.  Outside traffic comes and turns away.  You remain there amazed, remembering dazzling instants. 




 Her footsteps hop on the bridge, as light as a swallow. 

It was perhaps a Sunday, in the drowsy city. 

In the mirror of water, houses were staring at themselves, strange. 

Her foolish hair undulated as if swimming, and she had a fine chainette on her ankle. 

It was perhaps a Sunday in the city. Away, we knew that people were and moved.


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