Snatching a few minutes here and there, I haven’t worked out what the NaPoWriMo prompt wants, so I’ve attempted a translation of the Baudelaire given as an example.


Be still my sorrow; let your disquiet sleep.

You asked for eventide to fall, it’s here,

Enveloping this town in darkness deep,

Bringing peace to some, to others fear.


While the common mortal herd at leisure

Gathers regrets, picked from festive debris,

Driven on by the task master, pleasure,

We stay aloof, pain, come, give your hand to me.


On heaven’s balcony, see dead years drape

Their shabby antiquated crepe;

Regret rise from the ocean depths profound;


The dying sun asleep beneath an arch,

And like a long shroud trailing in the east, the sound

You hear, my love, is of the sweet night’s march.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “Meditation”

      1. You can’t fit into another culture if you don’t know the language. It’s only very recently that I’ve dared write anything in French though I’ve lived her longer than I lived in England.

      2. If you work in a different country and bring up your children there, it comes naturally. I think a lot of people who live ‘abroad’ move there after they need to have those contacts and don’t ever really feel part of things, never really learn the language and think of themselves as ex-pats.

      3. That’s so true Jane, Where I live it is 76% Latino so and the older generation has chosen to not give up their Cuban culture or even attempt to assimilate or learn to speak English and frankly they don’t have too because of their numbers.

      4. It’s the kind of thing that used to be encouraged, the right to keep a different culture, but it only stores trouble up for later. You can’t be part of a culture if you choose to love outside it and follow different rules. It seems anodyne when it’s European cultures that have a common base after all, but when you have ‘communities’ that are at odds politically and ethically with the host culture, you have problems.

      5. Exactly Jane…and it is a problem here, but the younger generation are abandoning the old Cuban customs and consider themselves American’s, after all most were born here.

      6. There are customs like language, food, festivities that can be kept going alongside the host culture, as long as the host language is first language and the kids take on board the host feast days and customs too. We have problems with some nasty customs that are actually against the law. You’ll always find some well-meaning association defending the right of some citizens to opt out and carry on the way they did ‘back home’. Recipe for disaster.

      1. I believe you. I think when the “weight” of making sure you translate it to reflect the intent of the original it’s that much trickier.

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