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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Oh What a "Great War", That Was!


Well Beyond Exile / Bien au-delà de l'exile.
(versions en français et en anglais suivent)
(Suggested by H. Mcdiarmid “Beyond Exile.” Salonika (1916)
and surely,the pipe music “The hills of Tyrol”, paroles A. Stewart).

Note historique:
This true story happened in the same place (Dardanelles near Salonika), one year after Michel Grieves (alias H. Macdiarmid) wrote his beautiful lines "Beyond Exile cf previous post)
C'est histoire vrai à eu lieu dans la même région(Les Dardanelles près de Salonique) ou M. Grieves (alias H. Macdiarmid) à écrit ces très belles paroles dans "Au delà de l'exile" cf. log précédent

One Year On /Un an de plus
To Salonika and Back/ Salonique aller – retour-1917.
For Françoise et sa Famille: Mamie Lulu, Paul, Dédé et Michel
and especially Grandfather Jaconnet, he who survived the
atrocious: "Chemin de Dames"- Verdun



(To Jean, 1893-1917).

"Le cousin de ma femme est mort aujourd’hui"


“My wife’s cousin died today,
Son nomEm, Jean Crochet.
‘Maréchal de ceci ou de cela ?’
«Tout simplement des Logis. »
‘Diplôme en poche aussi ?’
« Des Ponts et Chaussées . »

Il a quitté le 201e d’artillerie
Le silence sur la 26e batterie

Sur ses terres lointaines
Trouver le vieux chemin
De la colline et de l’école
était au-delà de ses propres forces
Son père comme lui a dû allé
Car Jean, lui-même, à trop tardé !

Il a quitté le 201e d’artillerie
Le silence sur la 26e batterie

A Salonique. Quel beau voyage !
L’instituteur, directeur, la norme
A trouver le vieux chemin
De la colline et de l’école.
Jean a passé l’ultime borne

Il a quitté le 201e d’artillerie
Le silence sur la 26e batterie

Ils sont de retour à nouveau, Nevers
Jean, Alphonse, et Francine
Ensemble devant la pierre, l’hiver,
Vieillis de cent ans un jour
Silent memory to a living “hymn”

Il a quitter le 201e d’artillerie
Le silence sur la 26e batterie

Il faut bien le dire,( tout haut ?)
Ca fait beau sur son tombeau.

JA © (1/06/2001). Trad. Update (5/06/2001)

Footnotes :

Francine née Perrier
1° version ever = anglais pour "toujours"

Variations
Silent memory to a living “hymn
(Mémoires si-les-cieux - la vie en hymne).










English Translation




Well beyond Exile – “One year on”
( Translation to English of” my poem
Bien au delà de l’exile. Originally in French. Inspired by H. Macdiarmid )

My wife’s cousin died to-day.
Oh, his name? Jean Crochet
Major General this or that?
Simply a sergeant major
A young university graduate, eh ?
From‘les Ponts and Chaussées’

Jean left the 201st artillery
Silence on the 26th company

In distant lands to find
The old hill road and
The village school was well…
Beyond his strength, now unkempt
His father, like Jean also went
Jean’s life was down right spent

Jean left the 201st artillery
Silence on the 26th company

To Salonika what a wonderful trip
The school head master, directorship
Found the old hill road and
The village school was well…
Jean had passed the ultimate mile post

Jean left the 201st artillery
Silence on the 26th company

They are now all back in Nevers
Jean Alphonse and Francine
Together before the headstone, ever
Aged a hundred days, one day
A silent memory to a living hymn.

Jean left the 201st artillery
Silence on the 26th company

Should I allow, my voice be heard
Declaring that it does look good
On his grave head?

JA copyright@J.A
Trial translation 25 Oct. 2001. ©
Footenote: Jean's cannon had fired so many rounds that day that it blew up on them. A sort of metallurgical-quality assurance-defect, then "that's war that was" and maybe still is?

Tribute to Lazare Ponticelli & to those who survived or tried to survive WWI

Lazare Ponticelli, was the longest and last French surviver of the "Great War" The 1st World War (WWI) Lazard died today. A short well documented tribute to Lazard was published by The Economist.




I did not intend to write so soon on work inspired by H. Macdiarmid, soldier in the British Army medical corps who wrote the following lines which I find beautiful and poignant, a plea or prayer in essence, hence my desire to translate them into french. There is another reason concerning close family, some survived some died! Lazard & Hugh survived...


Au-delà de l’exile

(Beyond Exile by H. Macdiarmid trad par J.A. -Original in english - scroll down)




Que dieu soit loué, mes pieds peuvent encore trouver
Dans ces terres lointaines le vieux chemin de la colline,
Et piétine toujours aucune glaise étrangère
Mais leur gadoue, familière terrine

Et tout l’état étendu de l’océan
Ne sera qu’une lamelle brillante
Qui glisse entre les champs ondulants
Pour ne trouver aucune mer étrangère

Aucun toit d'arbre d’étranger m’abrite
Même que je voyage au lointain détour
Et les ligues qui nous séparent, ne sert qu’à me rapprocher
Aux cotés de mon amour

Et si je passe l’ultime borne
Et bien, je serai chez moi à nouveau-
Le pas rapide à la porte discrète
Les yeux pétillants à la vitrine !



Salonique, 1916.



Traduit par J.A. (6 Juin 2001)
.A short well documented tribute to Lazard was published by The Economist. This includes several of his outstanding exploits & personal memories as well as his credo formed before, during and especially in his long-life after WWI. His thoughts on his war experience went always to those less fortunate than he, to his comrades who lost their young lives and families. The Economist article does not forget the company "Ponticelli Frères.", Link in english.
founded in 1921, by The Ponticelli family; Lazard and is two brothers, all Italian immigrants.

Beyond Exile


Praise God that l my feet can find
In distant lands the old hill-road,
And tread always no alien clay
But their familiar sod.

And all the ocean’s broad estate
Be but gleaming band to me
That slips between the bending fields
To find no foreign sea.

No stranger’s roof tree covers me,
Albeit I travel far and wide,
And sundering leagues but closed bind
Me to my darling’s side.

And if I pass the utmost borne
Why, then, I shall be home again-
The quick step at the quiet door,
The grey eyes at the pane!

Salonika, 1916 by Hugh MacDiarmid (died 1978)
Complete Works Vol. 1, Pub. Penguin
Ed Michael Greave & W.R. Aitkin
©Christopher Murray Grieve (1978)
© Valda Grieve (1985) & family?

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