KudoZ home » French to English » Poetry & Literature

Homme, libre penseur ! te crois-tu seul pensant

English translation: So you alone are blessed with thought, free-thinking man,

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:Homme, libre penseur ! te crois-tu seul pensant
English translation:So you alone are blessed with thought, free-thinking man,
Entered by: Aisha Maniar
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

11:58 Dec 18, 2003
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / poetry
French term or phrase: Homme, libre penseur ! te crois-tu seul pensant
Does anyone know if there is an English translation for this poem by Gérard de Nerval?
I believe it appears in "Vers Dores". The bit I need to translate is that which follows:
"A la matière même un verbe est attaché... /..../
Souvent dans l'être obscur habite un Dieu caché;"

Many thanks,
Amanda
manducci
Local time: 17:33
Perhaps this will help
Explanation:
I found the following translation of the whole poem at the website below. It is as follows:
So you alone are blessed with thought, free-thinking man,
In a world where life bursts forth from everything?
You are free to dispose of forces at your command
But the universe is absent from your well-laid plans.

Honor each creature for the mind in which it takes part:
Each flower is a soul turned towards Nature's face;
Each metal hides some ancient mystery of the heart;
"All things feel!" And all you are is within their art.

Beware, even blind walls may spy on you:
Even dumb matter is imbued with voice...
Put not its precious stuff to impious use.

The most obscure of beings may house a hidden god;
And like the new-born eye pouched within its lids,
Pure mind drives its bud though the husk of stones.

And most importantly, it was TRANSLATED by Richard Sieburth

I hope that helps :-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-18 12:23:01 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I forgot the bit by Pythagoras at the beginning - translated by Sieburth as \"All things feel- Pythagoras\".

IMO, I quite like his translation :-)

His book of translations of Gerard de Nerval was published in 1999.

The exact verses you wanted were:

Even dumb matter is imbued with voice...
Put not its precious stuff to impious use.

The most obscure of beings may house a hidden god;
Selected response from:

Aisha Maniar
Local time: 16:33
Grading comment
Many thanks to you all especially to William and Aisha who provided full translations (and refs). I really had difficulty in deciding who to award points to and wish they could be divided!! William was first off the mark but for my purposes the translation given by Aisha fitted better with the sentence which followed in English. Thanks again,

Amanda
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +4Here's one
William Stein
4 +3Perhaps this will help
Aisha Maniar
4To matter itself a name is given /zaphod
3At the raw material, a word has been attached
irat56
2To matter itself a word is linked /.../.../ oft in an obscure being a god has hid
nothing


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
At the raw material, a word has been attached


Explanation:
In the obscure being often a God may live...

Sans prétention! Bon Courage!

irat56
France
Local time: 17:33
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 20
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Here's one


Explanation:
of these is the poem GOLDEN LINES by Gerard de Nerval, a poem which could serve as a manifesto for the book. It is preceded by this epigraph from Pythagoras : "Astonishing! Everything is intelligent!" Here are the opening lines, slightly adjusted since they should be set out as poetry:

"Free thinker! Do you think you are the only thinker / on this earth in which life blazes inside all things? / Your liberty does what it wishes with the powers it controls, / but when you gather to plan, the universe is not there. // Look carefully in an animal at a spirit alive; / every flower is a soul opening out into nature; / a mystery touching love is asleep inside metal..." (page 38).


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 mins (2003-12-18 12:09:57 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

And another:
LOVE\'S MYSTERY

You, free thinker, imagine only man
Thinks in this world where life bursts from all things? The powers
within prescribe your freedom\'s wings, But you leave the universe
outside your plans.

Respect the mind that stirs in every creature: Love\'s mystery is known
by metals too;
Every flower opens its soul to Nature;
\"Everything\'s sentient!\" and works on you.

Beware! from the blind wall one watches you: Even matter has a logos all
its own . . . Do not put it to some impious use.

Often in humble life a god works, hidden; And
like a new-born eye veiled by its lids, Pure spirit grows beneath the
surface of stones.

GERARD de NERVAL


William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 10:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxBourth: Come on William, credit it! [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/00prophecy/message/255?source=...]
8 mins
  -> I was going to get around do it, but thanks for the constructive nagging anyway.

agree  Emérentienne: my preference goes to 2nd version
18 mins
  -> I think "logos" is a very clever translation of "verbe" in this context.

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
34 mins

agree  Iolanta Vlaykova Paneva
2 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Perhaps this will help


Explanation:
I found the following translation of the whole poem at the website below. It is as follows:
So you alone are blessed with thought, free-thinking man,
In a world where life bursts forth from everything?
You are free to dispose of forces at your command
But the universe is absent from your well-laid plans.

Honor each creature for the mind in which it takes part:
Each flower is a soul turned towards Nature's face;
Each metal hides some ancient mystery of the heart;
"All things feel!" And all you are is within their art.

Beware, even blind walls may spy on you:
Even dumb matter is imbued with voice...
Put not its precious stuff to impious use.

The most obscure of beings may house a hidden god;
And like the new-born eye pouched within its lids,
Pure mind drives its bud though the husk of stones.

And most importantly, it was TRANSLATED by Richard Sieburth

I hope that helps :-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-18 12:23:01 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I forgot the bit by Pythagoras at the beginning - translated by Sieburth as \"All things feel- Pythagoras\".

IMO, I quite like his translation :-)

His book of translations of Gerard de Nerval was published in 1999.

The exact verses you wanted were:

Even dumb matter is imbued with voice...
Put not its precious stuff to impious use.

The most obscure of beings may house a hidden god;



    Reference: http://www.glaced.digitalspace.net/cgi-bin/nerval/golden.htm...
Aisha Maniar
Local time: 16:33
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Many thanks to you all especially to William and Aisha who provided full translations (and refs). I really had difficulty in deciding who to award points to and wish they could be divided!! William was first off the mark but for my purposes the translation given by Aisha fitted better with the sentence which followed in English. Thanks again,

Amanda

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
29 mins

agree  zaphod
1 hr

agree  writeaway
10 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
To matter itself a word is linked /.../.../ oft in an obscure being a god has hid


Explanation:
Just an idea. I don't know if it has been published. There is a book in Penguin but I don't know its contents. Of course, what I wrote as an answer could be completely stupid, because I don't know the verses in the middle

nothing
Local time: 16:33
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
To matter itself a name is given /


Explanation:
Often within the darkest soul a God is hidden

zaphod
Local time: 17:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 10
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search