Aurélia Lassaque’s Solstice and Other Poems

Aurelia Lassaque 
 
 
Aurélia Lassaque is an Occitan and French poet. She is keenly interested in the relationship between poetry and music and has collaborated with musicians for numerous music and poetry shows. She has also collaborated creatively with various painters and visual artists for exhibitions in France, Italy and the United States. Her poems have been translated into English, Italian, Asturian, Basque, Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish, Turkish and Finnish for numerous journals and anthologies. She regularly takes part in international poetry festivals. In 2010 she was artistic director of the Festival of European and Mediterranean Minority Literatures (held in Italy). She is also a book reviewer for regional television and has dedicated her doctorate to Occitan baroque drama. Her Occitan collection, Solstice and Other Poems (Francis Boutle Publishers, 2012), is translated into English by James Thomas.
 
 
 
Solstice and Other Poems 
 
 
Solstice and Other Poems is the first major parallel Occitan–English publication of prize-winning Occitan and French poet Aurélia Lassaque.

In Solstice, the Call of Janus (Solstici, lo Bram de Janus), her most recent work, a woman (Bella, in the English version) arrives alone amongst a rural community on the eve of the summer solstice. As annual rituals are performed, she encounters the sensual forces of a universe that questions the fixed nature of temporal and earthly borders. Dawn of Wolves (L’Alba dels Lops) brings together nineteen other poems, highly-polished fragments of a powerfully-imagined world of surreal encounters and unresolved emotions. This volume confirms Aurélia Lassaque as one of the leading contemporary voices in Occitan literature.”
 
 
 
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Pantais
 
 
Fai freg dins mon anma
Es romantic e desuet.
Ieu
Auriái presa la nau en Grècia.
A Santorin auriái limpat
Fins a la mar.
Auriái penjat mon lum
A la branca d’un olivièr.
E dins un ostal blanc
Auriái aimat de pescaires esperitals
E de monges desfrocats.
 
 
 
 
Fantasy
 
 
My soul is cold inside;
It’s quaint, romantic.
Me,
I would have boarded the boat in Greece.
At Santorini I’d have drifted
On the back of a mule
Right out to sea.
I would have hung up my light
On the branch of an olive tree.
Inside a whitewashed house
I’d have made love to divine fishermen
And defrocked monks.
 
 
 
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Lo rei de seda saura
 
 
Engana l’aucelum e tuteja l’aura.
Quilhat dins l’èrba salvatja
A perdut sos uèlhs
Raubats a la vèsta d’un soldat.
Tres gojats son venguts
Qu’an escampat sas tripas pel sòl
Per i prene qualque dròlla mal pintrada.

Privat de son còs de seda saura,
L’espaurugal
Fa de sòmis descabestrats
Que desvarian los aucèls.
 
 
 
 
The king of golden silk
 
 
He ensnares birds and banters with the wind.
Pitched on wild grassland
He’s lost his eyes
Stolen from the coat of a soldier.
Three young lads came along
Scattered his guts on the ground
Where they laid a dishevelled girl.

Without his body of golden silk
The scarecrow
Dreams ungovernable dreams
That bewilder the birds.
 
 
 
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As pres lo camin del país de nuèch.
Lo desèrt i es de gèl
E las estèlas se languisson.
Obris tos braces e cava,
La posca serà ton pan,
T’abeuraràn nòstras lagremas.
Vai, vai e t’entornes pas.
S’ausisses udolar la pèira,
Es que s’i gravan las letras de ton nom
 
 
 
 
You’ve chosen the path for the land of night.
The desert is made of ice there
And the stars die of boredom.
Stretch out your arms and dig,
Dust will be your bread,
You’ll swallow our tears.
Go now, go, and don’t return.
If you hear the stones wailing,
The letters of your name are being engraved.
 
 
 
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Lo sòmi d’Orfèu
 
 
Dins los infèrns que los òmes
Son pas mai que d’ombras,
Me farai ombra al dedins de ton còs.

Bastirai de ciutats de sabla
Qu’agotaràn lo flum que degun ne tòrna.

Dansarem sus de torres que nòstres uèlhs veiràn pas.

Serai ta lenga trencada que sap pas mentir.

E maudirem l’amor que nos a perduts.
 
 
 
 
The Dream of Orpheus
 
 
In the Underworld, where men
Are nothing more than shades,
I’ll shadow myself within your body.

I’ll fashion cities of sand
That bleed dry the river of no return.

We’ll dance upon towers that our eyes cannot see.

I’ll be your severed tongue that tells no lies.

And we’ll curse the love that lost us.
 
 
 
 
from Solstice and Other Poems (Francis Boutle Publishers, 2012).

Order Solstice and Other Poems.

Read about Aurélia’s UK tour at Literature Across Frontiers.
 
 
 
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2 thoughts on “Aurélia Lassaque’s Solstice and Other Poems

  1. 1spring3

    I liked these poems very much. They feel both modern and quite traditional, a channel for intensely felt emotion

  2. ngir

    Thank you, peony moon – your posts are always rewarding, but this one has a real edge – feels like a voice from chthonic realms, even if it’s still in regular use? – nice one! Tom Richardson Middlesbrough

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