T.S. Eliot as the star in a "Spleen" translation:
Je suis comme le roi d'un pays pluvieux,
Riche, mais impuissant, jeune et pourtant très vieux,
Qui, de ses précepteurs méprisant les courbettes,
S'ennuie avec ses chiens comme avec d'autres bêtes.
I am like the T. S. Eliot of new wastelands;
Fertile, but powerless; young, but with tied hands;
Despising pettiness in those who teach me.
Bored with this rat-race, poodle-love can’t reach me,
Pussies don’t make me feel good, nor dumb birds;
Nor dying poets begging me for words.
Bob Dylan’s witty, but grotesque new songs
Can’t tear me from the sick thought of my wrongs.
My bedspread, flowered with iris, is a grave’s.
My sweeties—for whom all such poets are braves—
Can’t dream up feathers half depraved enough
To crack a smile from this young boneyard tough.
The week-end mags. or BBC, who pay,
Can’t charm the guilt of filthy gold away.
Nor can the bloody struggles of old days
That warm our power-professors in new ways
Whip up the corpse of poetry: as it were
Grown brackish in green inlets by the Cher.
You can read "Spleen" in French and several English translations at:
Those interested in translation (Marcia) take note:
The Nicholas Moore translation (1 of 31) came from:
which was a link from this webpage
which had this paragraph describing Moore's book:
The thirty-one poems of Spleen—in voices ranging from H.D.'s to Kenneth Rexroth's, Bob Dylan's to Bee-Bop scat—were submitted to a contest being judged by George Steiner for the Sunday Times and mailed from several locations around London. The project, though a product of Moore's own personal demons regarding the problems of translation, not to mention the ironies of his once promising life, falls in line with any number of more conceptually aligned works such as Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius, Queneau's Cent Mille Milliard de Poèmes, and the giddy conceits and deceptions of Ern Malley, Araki Yasusada, and Roger Pellett.