My translations of two poems I’d been working progressively to complete; finished translating into English these full poems from May’s first book Fleurs de Rêve (1911).
TO MISS C.
By May Ziadeh
Your eyes are so beautiful, my dear beauty,
That their gaze is torturous;
I love your name and I spell it
Your murmuring flood of a name.
I am dark and you are blonde,
This contrast is delicious,
A little of the depths of the waves Mingles with the azure sky
Because I am Night and you are Day, a pink and blue day that glitters;
I, the lake; you, the shining star—
You, the dream and I…I am in love.
SERENADE OF THE MAD
by May Ziadeh
On the air of the Spanish Serenade:
“It’s late, your door is closed.”
Wake up, you sleeping beauty,
Listen to my evening song;
Moon ray, O my sweet friend,
Show yourself; no one can see you.
Under your window, my lute,
Is sighing with sad chords,
Nostalgic and rare—
And my heart shudders with transport!
Yes there, in the shadows and silence,
Listen to a sad, sweet song…
What, You don’t want me here?
Heaven! Why this sudden wrath?
Oh! by your thick blond locks
Your pupils which kill
(My sweet!) where worlds sparkle
Love! By your eyes, my pleasure!
By your lips, I beseech you!,
Your lips full of pleasure
And by your sound and pure voice,
Answer: Did I not sing well?
Then why this anger
What about the disappearance?
Would you be spoiled, my dear,
Or is it just a thrill?
(…Mimi, come back to your window
And stand under the white curtains;
By your grace, deign to appear
And inspire me with your sweet accents!)
The shadow is so dark and you listen to me,
Blonde woman, but what! Would you love me?
Steal from my breast these doubts:
Belle, speak! I’ve been quiet.
More melancholic than ever,
Lute, play your song again,
In this dark and tragic shadow
That fills this vast horizon.
Suffer, moan, cry, lute!
This beauty will not love you
And your chorus, sweet and rare,
Will never charm her…
—May Ziadeh (1911)
translations complete (through both heart & dictionary 😊) by Jade Nicole Beals (May 4, 2022).
These are some poems and photos to fall within a very beautiful, peaceful dream and I’m ready.
2 Notes added May 1, 2022:
I imagine Miss C’s full name could have been ”Cassandra” by the way May illustrates her name in words without spelling it.
I think the second photo of May could’ve been the small passport-sized photo she’d sent to author Kahlil Gibran upon his asking for one; it looks the right size and I find she has the look of excitement and adoration of being in love.
May 2, 2022: I think I must be wearing the same look.
Earlier today: Stars, After A Long Time, Before Midnight