TRANSLATING VALÉRY 1

translating valeryIntroduction

1. Reading and studying a poet's themes before beginning translation.

2. the French Symbolist approach to poetry.

3. plumping out the sense.

Paul Valéry

Paul Valéry (1871-1945) wrote poems in the Symbolist manner during 1888–91, but then gave up poetry for some twenty years, turning to daily jottings in his famous Cahiers, which were later published. André Gide then persuaded him to revise earlier poems for publication, and in doing so Valéry began what was to be his longest and most famous poem, La Jeune Parque, which was published in 1917. Valéry continued writing, producing Charmes ou poèmes in 1922, a collection containing Le Cimetière marin, and establishing him as the outstanding French poet of his time. {1-4}

Literal Translation

The poem is based on Valéry's musings by the Mediterranean at Sète, where he spent his boyhood. A glance at the French text and literal (machine) translation shows the problems facing a translator. {5} Texts:

Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes,
Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes;
Midi le juste y compose de feux
La mer, la mer, toujours recommencee
O récompense après une pensée
Qu'un long regard sur le calme des dieux!

Quel pur travail de fins éclairs consume
Maint diamant d'imperceptible écume,
Et quelle paix semble se concevoir!
Quand sur l'abîme un soleil se repose,
Ouvrages purs d'une éternelle cause,
Le Temps scintille et le Songe est savoir.

Stable trésor, temple simple à Minerve,
Masse de calme, et visible réserve,
Eau sourcilleuse, Oeil qui gardes en toi
Tant de sommeil sous une voile de flamme,
O mon silence! . . . Édifice dans l'ame,
Mais comble d'or aux mille tuiles, Toit!

Temple du Temps, qu'un seul soupir résume,
À ce point pur je monte et m'accoutume,
Tout entouré de mon regard marin;
Et comme aux dieux mon offrande suprême,
La scintillation sereine sème
Sur l'altitude un dédain souverain.

Comme le fruit se fond en jouissance,
Comme en délice il change son absence
Dans une bouche où sa forme se meurt,
Je hume ici ma future fumée,
Et le ciel chante à l'âme consumée
Le changement des rives en rumeur.

Beau ciel, vrai ciel, regarde-moi qui change!
Après tant d'orgueil, après tant d'étrange
Oisiveté, mais pleine de pouvoir,
Je m'abandonne à ce brillant espace,
Sur les maisons des morts mon ombre passe
Qui m'apprivoise à son frêle mouvoir.

L'âme exposée aux torches du solstice,
Je te soutiens, admirable justice
De la lumière aux armes sans pitié!
Je te tends pure à ta place première,
Regarde-toi! . . . Mais rendre la lumière
Suppose d'ombre une morne moitié.

O pour moi seul, à moi seul, en moi-même,
Auprès d'un coeur, aux sources du poème,
Entre le vide et l'événement pur,
J'attends l'écho de ma grandeur interne,
Amère, sombre, et sonore citerne,
Sonnant dans l'âme un creux toujours futur!

Sais-tu, fausse captive des feuillages,
Golfe mangeur de ces maigres grillages,
Sur mes yeux clos, secrets éblouissants,
Quel corps me traîne à sa fin paresseuse,
Quel front l'attire à cette terre osseuse?
Une étincelle y pense à mes absents.

Fermé, sacré, plein d'un feu sans matière,
Fragment terrestre offert à la lumière,
Ce lieu me plaît, dominé de flambeaux,
Composé d'or, de pierre et d'arbres sombres,
Où tant de marbre est tremblant sur tant d'ombres;
La mer fidèle y dort sur mes tombeaux!

Chienne splendide, écarte l'idolâtre!
Quand solitaire au sourire de pâtre,
Je pais longtemps, moutons mystérieux,
Le blanc troupeau de mes tranquilles tombes,
Éloignes-en les prudentes colombes,
Les songes vains, les anges curieux!

Ici venu, l'avenir est paresse.
L'insecte net gratte la sécheresse;
Tout est brûlé, défait, reçu dans l'air
A je ne sais quelle sévère essence . . .
La vie est vaste, étant ivre d'absence,
Et l'amertume est douce, et l'esprit clair.

Les morts cachés sont bien dans cette terre
Qui les réchauffe et sèche leur mystère.
Midi là-haut, Midi sans mouvement
En soi se pense et convient à soi-même
Tête complète et parfait diadème,
Je suis en toi le secret changement.

Tu n'as que moi pour contenir tes craintes!
Mes repentirs, mes doutes, mes contraintes
Sont le défaut de ton grand diamant! . . .
Mais dans leur nuit toute lourde de marbres,
Un peuple vague aux racines des arbres
A pris déjà ton parti lentement.

Ils ont fondu dans une absence épaisse,
L'argile rouge a bu la blanche espèce,
Le don de vivre a passé dans les fleurs!
Où sont des morts les phrases familières,
L'art personnel, les âmes singulières?
La larve file où se formaient les pleurs.

Les cris aigus des filles chatouillées,
Les yeux, les dents, les paupières mouillées,
Le sein charmant qui joue avec le feu,
Le sang qui brille aux lèvres qui se rendent,
Les derniers dons, les doigts qui les défendent,
Tout va sous terre et rentre dans le jeu!

Et vous, grande âme, espérez-vous un songe
Qui n'aura plus ces couleurs de mensonge
Qu'aux yeux de chair l'onde et l'or font ici?
Chanterez-vous quand serez vaporeuse?
Allez! Tout fuit! Ma présence est poreuse,
La sainte impatience meurt aussi!

Maigre immortalité noire et dorée,
Consolatrice affreusement laurée,
Qui de la mort fais un sein maternel,
Le beau mensonge et la pieuse ruse!
Qui ne connaît, et qui ne les refuse,
Ce crâne vide et ce rire éternel!

Pères profonds, têtes inhabitées,
Qui sous le poids de tant de pelletées,
Êtes la terre et confondez nos pas,
Le vrai rongeur, le ver irréfutable
N'est point pour vous qui dormez sous la table,
Il vit de vie, il ne me quitte pas!

Amour, peut-être, ou de moi-même haine?
Sa dent secrète est de moi si prochaine
Que tous les noms lui peuvent convenir!
Qu'importe! Il voit, il veut, il songe, il touche!
Ma chair lui plaît, et jusque sur ma couche,
À ce vivant je vis d'appartenir!

Zénon! Cruel Zénon! Zénon d'Êlée!
M'as-tu percé de cette flèche ailée
Qui vibre, vole, et qui ne vole pas!
Le son m'enfante et la flèche me tue!
Ah! le soleil . . . Quelle ombre de tortue
Pour l'âme, Achille immobile à grands pas!

Non, non! . . . Debout! Dans l'ère successive!
Brisez, mon corps, cette forme pensive!
Buvez, mon sein, la naissance du vent!
Une fraîcheur, de la mer exhalée,
Me rend mon âme . . . O puissance salée!
Courons à l'onde en rejaillir vivant.

Oui! grande mer de delires douée,
Peau de panthère et chlamyde trouée,
De mille et mille idoles du soleil,
Hydre absolue, ivre de ta chair bleue,
Qui te remords l'étincelante queue
Dans un tumulte au silence pareil

Le vent se lève! . . . il faut tenter de vivre!
L'air immense ouvre et referme mon livre,
La vague en poudre ose jaillir des rocs!
Envolez-vous, pages tout éblouies!
Rompez, vagues! Rompez d'eaux rejouies
Ce toit tranquille où picoraient des focs!

This quiet roof, where walk of the doves,
Between the pines twitches, between the graves;
Noon the just one there composes from fires
The sea, the sea, always recommencee
O rewards after a thought
That a long look on the calm of the gods!

Pure which work of fine flashes consumes
Many a diamond of unperceivable foam,
And which peace seems to conceive itself!
When on the abyss a sun rests, pure
Works of an eternal cause,
The time sparkles and the dream is to know.

Stable treasure, simple temple to Minerve,
calm Mass, and visible reserve,
Water lidded, Eye that keep in you
so many sleep under a flame sail,
O my silence! . . . Structure in the soul,
But fills of now to the thousand tiles, Roof!

Temple of the Time, that a single sigh summarizes,
To this pure point I climb and accustoms me,
All surround by my sea look;
And as to the gods my supreme offering,
The serene scintillation sows
On the altitude a sovereign scorn.

As the fruit melts itself in pleasure,
As in delight it changes his absence
In a mouth where his form dies itself,
I smell here my future smoke,
And the sky sings to the consumed soul
The change of the shores in rumor.

Beautiful sky, true sky, look at me that changes!
After so much pride, after so much strange
Idleness, but full of strength,
I abandon myself to this brilliant space,
On the death houses my shadow passes
That tames me to its flimsy one to move.

The exposed soul to the torches of the solstice,
I you support, admirable justice
Of the light to the weapons without pity!
I stretch you pure to your first place,
Look at you! . . . But to return the light
Supposes shadow a gloomy half.

O for me only, to me only, in myself,
with a heart, to the poem sources,
Between emptiness and the pure event,
I await the echo of my internal,
Bitter, dark, and sonorous magnitude tank,
Ringing in the soul a hollow always future!

Do you know, captive false foliages,
Gulf eater of these lean grids,
On my closed, secret eyes dazzling,
Which body leads me to his lazy,
Which end forehead attracts it to this bony earth?
A spark there thinks about my absent ones.

Closed, sacred, a lot of a fire without matter,
earthly fragment offer to the light,
This place pleases me, dominated torches,
Composed from now, of rock and of dark,
Where so many marble trees tremble on so many shadows;
The faithful sea there sleeps on my tombs!

Splendid female dog, separate the idolator!
When solitary to the smile of the shepherd,
I even a long time, mysterious sheep,
The white flock of my quiet graves,
Move away in the prudent doves,
The vain dreams, the curious angels!

Here come, the future is laziness.
The net insect scratches the drought;
All is burned, undoes, received in the air
Has I do not know harsh which essence. . .
Life is vast, being drunk absence,
And bitterness is soft, and the clear spirit.

The hidden deaths are well in this earth
That the reheats and dry their mystery.
Noon up there, Noon without movement
in itself thinks itself and suits oneself
Head completes and perfect tiara,
I am in you the secret change.

You have only me to contain your fears!
My regret, my doubts, my constraints
Are the defect of your big diamond! . . .
But in their night all heavy one of marbles,
A vague people to the tree roots
already took your party slowly.

They melted in a thick absence,
red clay drank the white type,
The gift to live passed in the flowers!
Where are deaths the familiar sentences,
The personal art, the unique souls?
The larva spins where formed themselves the tears.

The sharp cries of the tickled girls,
The eyes, the teeth, the wet eyelids,
The breast charming that plays with the fire,
The blood that shines to the lips that go,
The last gifts, the fingers that the defend,
All goes under earth and returns in the game!

And you, big soul, do you hope a dream
That no longer will have these lie colors
Than to the flesh eyes the wave and gold do here?
Will you sing when will be vaporeuse?
Go! All flees! My presence is porous,
The holy impatience dies also!

Lean black and gilded immortality,
Horrible comforting laurels
That of the death does a maternal breast,
The beautiful lie and the pious trick!
Who does not know, and that does not refuse them,
This skull empties and this eternal laugh!

Deep fathers, uninhabited heads,
That under the weight of so many shovel,
Are the earth and confuse our step,
The true rodent, the irrefutable worm
not at all is for you that sleep under the table,
It lives life, it does not leave me!

Love, maybe, or of myself hate?
His secret tooth is of me so next
That all the names can suit for him!
What imports! It sees, it wants, it thinks, it touches!
My flesh pleases for him, and even on my layer,
To this living one I live to belong!

Zénon! Cruel Zénon! Zénon of Êlée!
You pierced me of this winged arrow
That vibrates, flies, and that does not fly!
The sound gives birth me and the arrow kills me!
Ah! the sun. . . Which shadow of tortoise
For the soul, motionless Achille to big step!

No, no! . . . Standing! In the successive era!
Break, my body, this pensive form!
Drink, my breast, the wind birth!
A freshness, exhaled sea,
returns Me my soul. . . O power salty!
Run to the wave some to reflect living.

Yes! big sea of gifted delirium,
Skin of panther and perforated chlamyde,
Of thousand and thousand idols of the sun,
absolute, drunk Hydra of your blue flesh,
That you remorse gleaming it tail
In a commotion to the similar silence

The wind gets up! . . . It is necessary to attempt to live!
The immense air opens and closes my book,
The wave in powder dares to gush rocks!
You fly away, pages all dazzled ones!
Break, wave! Break waters rejoicing
This quiet roof where nibbled jibs!

And problems:

      1. elevated diction, common to French poetry of the period but remote to our concerns.

      2. great beauty of language used to express very abstract ideas.

      3. usual Symbolist omission of specifics, which makes context and meaning problematic at times.

      4. tightly rhymed decasyllabic form, often crafted around unusual rhymes.

First Attempts

As whatever form is achieved for one verse will have to be duplicated for all 24 others, it's wise to start to start with something that's clearly going to cause problems. One such is verse five, which runs:

French text:

Comme le fruit se fond en jouissance,
Comme en délice il change son absence
Dans une bouche où sa forme se meurt,
Je hume ici ma future fumée,
Et le ciel chante à l'âme consumée
Le changement des rives en rumeur.

Literal translation:

As the fruit melts itself in pleasure,
As in delight it changes its absence
In a mouth where its form dies itself,
I smell here my future smoke,
And the sky sings to the consumed soul
The change of the shores in rumor.

If we then look at previous translations, C Day Lewis {5} has retained the aabccb rhyme scheme but made the imagery more general:

Even as a fruit's absorbed in the enjoying,
Even as within the mouth its body dying
Changes into delight through dissolution,
So to my melted soul the heavens declare
All bounds transfigured into a boundless air,
And I breathe now my future's emanation.

Derek Mahon {7} has kept the enigmatic nature of the verse and its imagery, but abandoned the rhyme scheme:

But even as fruit consumes itself in taste,
even as it translates its own demise
deliciously in the mouth where its form dies,
I sniff already my own future smoke
while light sings to the ashen soul the quick
change starting now on the murmuring coast.

We should try to keep both imagery and rhyme scheme, perhaps writing something like this:

5. As the fruit's taste is melted into pleasure,
and delight loses itself in its own measure
of absence in mouths where it is no more,
so I smell my future in the emanations
of sky singing to the soul's cremations,
and change that comes upon that murmurous shore.

Since that proves not too difficult, let's quickly translate a few of the opening verses:

1. The doves walk on this roof with quiet feet.
From tombs to pines a palpitating heat.
Impartial noon and sea: the sea, a sheet
of fire, that has, as ever, no negation
but gives, ah! what rewards for contemplation
in that long gaze on calm of gods we meet.

2. And so the intricacy of light annoints
the surf with unseen glint of diamond points.
The peace seems such as to conceive itself.
On an abyss of the dark the sun pours
out its travail for some eternal cause
where time sparkles, and dreams give certain wealth.

3. For all Minerva's temple to intelligence,
the water's calmness shows clear reticence.
Proud-lidded water that beyond reproof
is bound to sleep beneath the sheet of flame
to serve my silence or the spirit's frame
that fills the thousand golden tiles of roof.

4. Time's own temple, which a single sigh
sums up, to this pure vantage point where I,
surrounded by the sea's look, am forsworn
it may be to the sovereign gods alone,
now see these peaceful scintillations
sow on distances like this a sovereign scorn.

5. As the fruit's taste is melted into pleasure,
and delight loses itself in its own measure
of absence in mouths where it is no more,
so I smell my future in the emanations
of sky singing to the soul's cremations,
and change foreshadowed on that murmurous shore.

6. See, beautiful sky, true sky, I change
after so much pride, so much strange
idleness, but full of a potency
that I must empty myself into this bright space.
On mansions of the dead there flits my trace,
which in its flimsiness suppresses me.

7. With soul laid bare to the towering solstice fire
I will support the justice I admire
in you of light's weapons that are not stayed
by pity. I stretch myself out to the bright
first occasion of looking, but return to the light
which implies a half plunged into gloomy shade.

Making Sense of the Text

That's more than enough. A few of the lines are neatly turned, but the translation is not poetry and does not show why this poem is among the most celebrated in French literature. We have to understand the poem properly to reproduce it, and identify its excellences to ensure these appear in translation. In short, refer to cribs and literary criticism. One handy guide is Broome and Chester's The Appreciation of Modern French Poetry, and from their comments are derived the notes that follow.

Stanza One

Opening couplet, with elevated inversions and rich in phonetic patterns, introduces the major themes of the poem: peace (tranquille), purity (colombes), stability (toit) and death (tombes). Also the rich imagery: doves are like white-sailed boats and the sea, its tiles overlapping like waves, resembles the sea. So:

This tranquil roof patrolling doves assume
palpitates in pines trees and in tombs.

Not an exact rhyme, but let's leave the question of rhyme, pararhyme and no rhyme for the moment, and consider the stanza as a whole, with its balance between the permanent and the fleeting, the immobile and the restless. Continuing, we write:

Impartial noon: patterned the sea in flame,
and the sea, always the sea, on each occasion
bringing in riches after contemplation
and in that long look on calmness that the gods might claim.

If we now make the translation a little freer, moving from literal equivalents to the overall meaning, adjusting the rhythm to echo the sea, we get:

This tranquil roof the sail of doves assumes
palpitates through pines trees and the tombs.
An equitable noon that patterns sea in flame,
and that sea turning and returning on each occasion
to bring such riches in from contemplation:
an empire of calm that gives gods their name.

Stanza Two

Poet's gaze fascinated by the divine artistry of the sea, continually moving between formation (compose, travail, se concevoir, ouvrage) and disintegration. Increasing stress on abstract words: pur, paix, éternelle cause, Temps, Songe, savoir. So:

How intricately the sea's surf disappoints
itself in unseen glitter of diamond points
whose peace seems self-conceived. Settling as though
into an abyss of emptiness the sun pours
out its artistry on an eternal cause.
Time attracts, and Dreaming is to know.

Stanza Three

The still waters of the sea return the poet's gaze, and is its own correlative, its calmness and meditative depths forming a refuge for the soul. Suggestions of permanency and cumulative sound patters in mille tuiles, Toit. Stable trésor, temple simple à Minerve:

That temple to Minerva's intelligence,
water's calmness, shows such reticence.
Proud-lidded depths and the Eye's reproof
that wells up from sleep beneath the flame.
And the silence, that houses my soul the same
under the myriad gold waves that slope this Roof.

Stanza Four

After identifying with the sea and becoming the centre of his gaze, the poet's pride reaches its zenith, seemingly in contact with the Absolute. Sea and poet combine with the sky in a timeless unity, which cannot, however, last. Again contrasts between massive stability (Temple du Temps) and airy nothingness (qu'un seul soupir résume).

Temple of Time, subsumed in a single sigh.
To this accustomed and pure instant I
climb now with the sea around me, born
of this look, making supreme oblations,
but seeing in its peaceful scintillations
the sea sow on such altitudes a sovereign scorn.

Stanza Five

Tone becomes more sensuous, and poet imagines his death as joyous self-sacrifice. Sea and poet will dissolve, but sky stands apart as a symbol of the Absolute.

As the fruit's taste is molded into pleasure,
and delight loses itself in its own measure
of absence in mouths where it is no more,
so I give myself to the emanations
in a sky singing the soul's cremations,
dissolving in surf on that murmurous shore.

Stanza Six

Poet addresses the sky: after pride and idleness he accepts his mutability, but his immolation in the light casts an insubstantial shadow.

Look, beautiful heaven, true heaven, how I change,
after so much pride, so much strange
idleness, but even here, in my potency,
immolating myself in this bright space,
across the houses of the dead a trace
passes that tames me in its fragility.

Stanza Seven

Continues the theme of fulfillment and immolation. The poet takes on the role of the sea, acting act as a mirror for the Absolute so that it can know its own majesty.

Baring my soul to the sea's flare at solstice,
and so giving myself to that admirable justice,
whose burning weapons are not by pity stayed,
I take on your purity, extending that bright
reflection of yourself, but the light
plunges my half into a gloomy shade.

Review

If we now look at these declamations, tidying up a little:

1. The sail of doves this tranquil roof assumes
palpitates through pines trees and the tombs.
Imperturbable midday, of fire
and sea, the sea beginning each occasion
to bring such riches in from contemplation:
great settlements of calm the gods inspire.

2. How intricately the sea's surf disappoints
itself in unseen glitter of diamond points.
Peace seems self-conceived. Settling as though
into an abyss of emptiness the sun pours
out its artistry on an eternal cause.
Time's an instant, and Dreaming is to know.

3. That temple to Minerva's intelligence,
water's calmness, shows such reticence.
Proud-lidded depths and the Eye's reproof
that wells up from sleep beneath the flame.
And the silence, that makes my soul the same
under the myriad gold waves that slope this Roof.

4. Temple of Time, parsed to a single sigh.
To this accustomed and pure instant I
climb now with the sea around me, born
of this look, making supreme oblations,
but seeing in its peaceful scintillations
the sea sow on such altitudes a sovereign scorn.

5. As the fruit's taste is molded into pleasure,
and delight loses itself in its own measure
of absence in mouths where it is no more,
so I sense myself in the emanations
in a sky singing the soul's cremations,
dissolving in surf on that murmurous shore.

6. Look, beautiful heaven, true heaven, how I change,
after so much pride, so much strange
idleness, but even here, in my potency,
immolating myself in this bright space,
across the houses of the dead a trace
passes to plunge me into the shadowy.

7. Giving my soul to the sea's flare at solstice,
and therefore into that admirable justice
whose burning weapons are not by pity stayed,
I take on your purity, extending that bright
reflection of yourself, but the light
supposes my half still as a gloomy shade.

 

We note:

1. the poem is coming together, in the form it enjoys in the original French.

2. we have captured some of the original's splendour, but not generally its beauty of language, which is often compared to Racine's.

3. we've made sense by clarifying what is unclear in the original, a meaning that can be read in the stanza, but is not compelled by it. Should we remove the difficulties in this way?

It depends what we're trying to achieve. To repeat what's been said elsewhere on the site, a translation can:

1. be as literal as possible, leaving the audience to read what meaning it will into the words. Unfortunately, particularly with Symbolist work, (and Valéry is as enigmatic as Wallace Stevens) the translation then tends to become a peg on which clever interpretations can be hung, each no better than the last if the critic is not poet enough to understand the creative process.

2. broaden the specifics into generalities, creating something that belongs more to the English tradition of poetry. C. Day Lewis {5} has chosen this route in some of the more difficult passages, and I have occasionally too.

3. aim to be first and foremost a poem, something that recreates the impression on a French reader — the approach here, of finding English equivalents for what works in French.

4. hijack the poem into the translator's viewpoint or interests. Yeats was inclined to do this, and Derek Mahon has in the stanza quoted. The poem is then not strictly a translation but a reworking, results depending on the translator's stature as a poet.

The most difficult and hazardous is aim three. Difficult because we have to write poetry, though this requirement has its compensations, forcing us to create such things as How intricately the sea's surf disappoints / itself in unseen glitter of diamond points, and water's calmness shows such reticence, etc. which would have eluded our everyday work. Hazardous because there is always the danger of betraying the sense for a well-turned line. Valéry himself is not safe from this charge, of course. He can be exceptionally problematic, even for a French reader, with many interpretations current on key lines. I do not, myself, for example, find all the meanings that Broome and Chester trace in their commentaries, and Henri Peyre {10} calls the early stanzas 'ponderous and coldly over-intellectual'. Perhaps we should also bear in mind that:

1. the sheer wizardry of the verse can seduce the reader into accepting what doesn't really make sense, the more so because Valéry is concerned with thought processes, the more impersonal and intellectual the better, though redeemed by sensuous phrasing. An example is stanza five's Je hume ici ma future fumée, its sounds so eloquently echoing the sense, which the English quite fails to do: I smell here my future smoke.

2. the more enigmatic lines often originate in simple sensations, which Valéry's interest in his own inner workings builds into enigmatic contrivances. An example is stanza nine's Sais-tu, fausse captive Des feuillages / Golfe mangeur de ces maigres grillages, where a literal rendering is: Do you know, captive false foliages, / Gulf eater of these lean grids. But this originated, I suspect, in seeing a tree against the backdrop of the sea: the foliage is 'eaten up' or half lost in the brilliant light. I have returned these lines to their source, creating (I hope) a resonating image. Can you, feigned prisoner of this foliage, know / the boughs dissolving in this water's glow?

Completed Poem

As usual, I'll complete the poem here, no doubt revising and changing my mind, as indeed Valéry did in composing this piece. The decasyllabic rhythm apparently came before the words, and the order of the first stanzas may have been chosen by drawing lots. {10} The poem is not all of a piece, therefore, as will be apparent, but in this way resembles the Persian ghazal.

 

References and Resources

1. Valéry Studies. Academic resources at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

2. Paul Valéry NNA. Poetry-Portal's entry, with the usual listings.

3. Paul Valéry. Wikepedia article with brief list of links.

4. Dancing in chains. Stephen Romer's Guardian review of Charms by Paul Valéry, translated by Peter Dale.

5. Le cimetière marin. Side by side of French text and translation by C. Day Lewis.

6. Chisholm, A.R. Moods of the Intellect in Le Cimetière Marin. Yale French Studies, No. 44, Paul Valéry (1970), 72-86.

7. The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry. Edited by Mary Ann Caws. Review by Adam Piette.

8. Paul VALERY: astrology and birth chart. Includes useful biography and astrological analysis.

9. Broomes, Peter and Chesters, Graham. The Appreciation of Modern French Poetry: 1850-1950. (CUP, 1976).

10. Burnshaw, Stanley (ed.) The Poem Itself. (Penguin Books, 1960).


The final version is included in Diversions, a free pdf collection of translations published by Ocaso Press.

 

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