Occitan poetry  980-2006

by Joan-Frederic Brun



Born in Roissy in1974. Lives now in Toulouse. Has published most of  his poems since 1999 in "OC ", but also in " Europe ", " Jardin d'essai ", " Rivaginaires ". His poems were read in the " Cave poésie " at Toulouse in 2001 and 2002, and he also participated in a radio program " Poésie sur parole " at France Culture in 2002. Olivier has translated into Occitan most international authors (Primo Levi, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Ana-Maria Matute) and has translated into French " Rai la mòrt ", a compilation of narratives of the late Occitan novelist Joan-Maria Pieyre. His first book of poems " L'amor es un orquèstra blanc que ne somián los gosses " / " Love is an orchestra and dogs dream about it " recently appeared (2006) at the editions "OC passatges". In his texts, poetic emotion delicately arises from the  astonishment of the poet scrutinizing the absurd strangeness of everyday life. And, amazingly, everything becomes poem and subtly takes you to another universe...


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? 


The webmaster






Lucian Freud isalada 
Dètz mila agaças de nuèit
alisan los lièits daurats d'excusas.
Los lombs amusan, despachan, desondran 
las onglas, la musa.
Dètz mila agaças de nuèit, 
capusas bèstias del còr pertús.
Gardarem pas que la que s'es perduda.


Lucian Freud Fugitive
Ten thousand nocturnal magpies
burnish the gilded, excuse-laden beds.
Loins tickle and rush, disfigure
the nails, the muzzle.
Ten thousand nocturnal magpies-
stubborn, heart-tunneling beasts.
We'll keep only the one that got lost.


Poèma a Mericà

Sèt oras tres dins l'otèl blanc, 
banhas los pòts dins lo cafè ;
- saturat -
sembla lo tast de çò vertat.
Los dets perduts, rufats, entre ton lièit,
amassas tos sòmis : quatre son pècs.
Lo sèxe umide d'un sègle voide,
l'as alisat, l'as desbrembat, calat, 
coma una alarma.
Gravitacion de çò begut, 
as daissat la guèrra dels mondes, 
los darrièrs anges e las morenas
sus la tèrra brunassa dels mots.
Dins lo tresluc, 
cèrcas la pichona brústia ròsa
dels tròces de sucre.


Poem for Merica
7:03 in the white hotel
you dip your lips in coffee
-so black-
it tastes like the truth.
Your fingers lost, curled in the bed,
you gather your four silly dreams.
Your sex is damp with an empty century.
You've stroked it, forgotten it, muted it
like an alarm.
In the gravid drink
you've left world wars,
final angels, and lampreys
on a brownish, word-heavy earth.
In full moonlight
you search for the little pink box
of sugar cubes.


Un curiós adissiatz
polida musica de maridatge, òme negre,	
	dos sòmis que s'encontran,
-quicòm deuriá venir vertat-
	coma de sagèls bizantins, de passarilhas
lo pitre conflat, entre lèrba jauna,
	cavi encara per ela
totjorn per ela


Hello and Goodbye

fine wedding music, dark man,
two dreams meet
-something ought to come true-
like Byzantine seals, like raisins
with swollen breast, in yellow grasses
I dig for her
always for her

			"Does the sea remember
			the walker upon it?"
				Sylvia Plath
	dins la lusor, un ventre e una banhadoira blanca
una, doas, tres cagaròtas eissinjadas
	que nadan per sorire
	lo mot tendre, l'ofìci de l'istòria
-sapin blau?  nis blau?-
	ton monde nus tremòla
	la massa de l'aiga aborgalida a regolat sus ton còs
te torna menar al sòl
	coma lo carrèu blanc que tomba a bèlas pausas
	es pas de bon aver sa coneissença
sus una flor autentica
	amb lo tast dels negats dins la boca

		"Does the sea remember
			the walker upon it?"
				Sylvia Plath
	In the gleam, a belly, a white tub,		
one, two, and three expelled turds
	smilingly swim   
	the tender word, history's office         
-blue pine?  blue nest?-
	your naked world trembles
	a ton of city water, sloshed on your body,
keeps knocking you down
	like a white tile falling again and again  
	it isn't easy to stay awake
on a real flower	
	with the taste of the drowned in your mouth.

Sièis taxis
Sièis taxis de seguida
-pes del monde-
peisses de l'espaci

Lo masca blau
Lo masca blau
del grand babau
lo truc perdut
demorì mut

Dètz segondas miralh
Lo bèl bombet de carn
a de flors desvolgudas.
Sembla un miralh. 
Mas las flors an pas de nom.


Six Taxis
Six cabs in a row
-weight of the world-
space fish
The blue mask
The blue mask
of the great bimbo
When the shock wore off
I was standing mute

Ten Second Mirror
The fine corsage of mirrors
and involuntary flowers,
they seem like a mirror
but the flowers have no name.

translations by Sarah White


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