Smiles and good wishes for all today. Isn't that what's needed? The following French poem was spotted in the neighboring village of Rasteau. Some "happy nester" had taped it to their front porch window.... Thank you, Newforest, for translating the text. (When you have read the poem, you might come back and visit the Mamie in the window above: click here...)
"Le sourire" (smile)... we have visited this attractive word before (here and here)... so I searched for a synonym (in English we have "a grin" (a big smile that shows your teeth) and "a beam" (a wide, happy smile)... but all I could find in French was "une grimace" (which didn't seem like a match to me!) So sourire it is and sourire it will be! Enjoy the following poem and remember to put on a smile ce weekend.
Un sourire ne coûte rien et produit beaucoup,
A smile does not cost anything but produces so much*,
Il enrichit ceux qui* le reçoivent,
It enriches the person who receives it
Sans appauvrir ceux qui le donnent.
without impoverishing the one who gives it.
Il ne dure qu'un instant,
It lasts only a few moments,
Mais son souvenir* est parfois éternel.
But its memory may sometimes last for ever.
Personne n'est assez pauvre pour ne pas le mériter.
Nobody is poor enough not to deserve it.
Il crée le bonheur au foyer, soutient les affaires,
It creates happiness at home and sustains businesses,
Il est le signe sensible de l'amitié.
It is the visible sign of friendship.
Un sourire donne du repos à l'être* fatigué.
A smile brings rest to the weary soul.
Il ne peut ni s'acheter, ni se prêter, ni se voler,
It cannot be bought, nor can it be loaned or even stolen,
Car c'est une chose qui n'a de valeur
For it is something which has value
Qu'à partir du moment où il se donne.
Only from the very moment it is given.
Et si quelquefois vous rencontrez une personne
And if sometimes you meet someone
Qui ne sait plus avoir le sourire...
Who no longer knows how to smile...
Soyez généreux, donnez-lui le vôtre!
Be generous, give him yours!
Car nul n'a autant besoin d'un sourire...
As no one is more desperate for a smile...
Que celui qui ne peut en donner aux autres.
Than the one who is unable to give a smile to others.
*poem by Raoul Follereau (1902-1977), who established World Leprosy day and who, throughout his life, shared his compassion for victims of leprosy--as well as for victims of poverty, indifference, and injustice.
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And don't miss this lovely poem, by William Weber. You might offer your translation in French...
* (but produces) so much* - or: 'but produces a great deal'
* “ceux qui” = 'the people who', but I left it singular: the one who)
* "l'être" = the human being – here, I translated by -> 'the soul'
* "son souvenir est parfois éternel". I could have said: 'its memory may be eternal' but I decided to repeat the verb to last, so here is my choice: its presence may sometimes last for ever.
Merci encore, Newforest, for translating Raoul Follereau's "Sourire" poem.
Thank you for sending your in your wishes, in response to the "seisme" post (here). Here is a "word cloud"... made entirely from your messages of support (to view messages, or to add your own, click here) :
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi