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. 

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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A   T R A V E R S    R E G A S

Als curiós

Se quauqu'un demanda qual soi
per quin dreit ma pluma rimalha,
saupretz qu'aquò's Dieu que m'a fait
mas que m'a balhat sòu ni malha!

E, pichon vailet que trabalha
dempuèi l'alba fins a la nuèit,
s'èi pas de fen mangi de palha,
mas me contenti de çò qu'ai.

Sul camin del breç a la tomba
i a vint ans lèu, de puèg en comba
amb los esclòps marchi pelhós.

D'argent n'ai pièl, ni d'esprit gaire,
e morirai, coma mon paire,
paisan del cap fins als talons.






Sonet d'un poèta abans de s'anar negar

Lèu tot s'escantís per jamai
dins ma paura arma desolada;
la fisança s'es envolada
de solelh n'a pas vist un rai!

Dejà la vida al mes de mai
me sembla trista, despolhada...
Dins ma paura arma desolada
tot vai s'escantir per jamai!

L'esperança, luènh l'ai caçada
e mòr coma la flor dalhada
al solelh, dins los prats, enlai...

Quand l'amor me passa a portada
fai qu'una grimaça e se'n vai;
tot es escantit per jamai.



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…

When love passes close to me, / it only makes a grimace and flies away; / all is unlighted forever.

There is no copyright. Our aim is to disseminate our culture among all  interested people and not to earn money with it.