> Georges Brassens: Pénélope
Dear Gunnar,
The translation is quite good. Is it yours, or did you manage to find one on the net?
I don't think Brassens would have been aware of Joyce here, but it's remarkable how close they are in their (ab)use of the Odyssey. So remote from the pomposity of the "mythical method" as well...
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N'as-tu jamais souhaité de revoir en chemin,
Cet ange, ce démon, qui, son arc à la main,
Décoche des flèches malignes,
Qui rend leur chair de femme aux plus froides statues,
Les bascul'de leur socl', bouscul'leur vertu,
Arrache leur feuille de vigne,
Arrache leur feuille de vigne ?

Didn't you ever wish to meet again on your way
This angel, this demon, his arch in his hand
Giving off malignat arrows,
Which turn the coldest of statues into women's flesh,
Rocking them off their bases, hustling their virtue,
Ripping off their vine leaves,
Ripping off their vine leaves?

N'aie crainte que le ciel ne t'en tienne rigueur,
Il n'y a vraiment pas là de quoi fouetter un coeur,
Qui bat la campagne et galope,
C'est la faute commune et le pêché véniel,
C'est la face cachée de la lune de miel,
Et la rançon de Pénélope,
Et la rançon de Pénélope.

Have no fear that heaven may punish you,
There is really no reason to flog a heart,
Going astray and galloping away,
It's the common fault and the venial sin,
It's the hidden side of the honeymoon,
And the ransom of Penelope,
And the ransom of Penelope.

I wish the net had a way to make you hear the immortal Brassens singing these magical verses, telling us about Penelope, her waiting patiently for an "Ulysse de Banlieu" (suburban Ulysses)!