Occitan poetry 980-2006
by Joan-Frederic Brun
|Born in 1875 in a farm near Floressas, young farm servant that discovered poetry like a wild flower in the
landscape, and started writing in his native language
He was found drowned in the river Rhône in 1898 while he was a soldier (see photo). Just a few days before this 23 yr old poet had written the beatiful and desesperate " Sonnet of a poet before going to drown. " (see below)
For us he's stil 23 years old and will eternally remain one of the youngest of our poets.
The little city of Penne d'Agenais near Agen has instituted since 1972 the "Pau Froment prize" that uses to reward the best occitan books of the year.
|A T R A V E R S R E G A S|
Se quauqu'un demanda qual soi
E, pichon vailet que trabalha
Sul camin del breç a la tomba
D'argent n'ai pièl, ni d'esprit gaire,
Sonet d'un poèta abans de s'anar negar
Lèu tot s'escantís per jamai
Dejà la vida al mes de mai
L'esperança, luènh l'ai caçada
Quand l'amor me passa a portada
Would anybody ask who I'm, / what right my pen had to make rhymes/ you'll
know that's God who made me up / giving me no money at all…
Thus, young servant I'm working hard/ from the sunset until the night, /
and if I’ve no hay, I eat straw, / but I enjoy what I have.
On the way from cradle to tomb, / since almost twenty years, through ups
and downs / I walk, ragged, with my wooden clogs. /
I've no money, and little wits / and
I'll die, as did my father / peasant
from head to foot
Sonnet of a poet before going to drown.
All rapidly dies out for ever more / in my poor hopeless heart; /
confidence has flown away /
for it hasn't seen any sunlight,!
Life already in the month of May / seems to me sad and stripped… /
In my poor sorry soul / where all will be unlighted forever!
Hope, I've droved out it far, / and it dies like a mown flower, / under
the sun, in the meadows, there…