Art, Creativity, Photography, Travel, Writing

Something old

A recent prompt on FB from Tee Thompson was to incorporate something old in your art journal page.


I have used a photocopy of a poem, in French. It’s one of many painstakingly copied, often in beautiful handwriting, into a book that was designed for just such a purpose that I picked up in a flea market some years ago. It is dated 2 October 1889.

À des oiseaux

O mes doux voyageurs, lassés d’un long voyage

Reposez-vous ici; restez dans ce bocage ….

Hélas! Impatients, vous regardez dans l’espace!

Quels sont vos noms? – je suis le Bonheur, et je passe

Et toi ? – je suis la Joie, et je m’en vais là-bas !

Et toi ? – je suis l’Espoir: je fuis à tire d’ailes.

Et toi, voudrais-tu suivre aussi ces infidèles?

Non! Je suis l’Amitié : je ne m’envole pas!

A rough translation:

Oh my sweet travellers, tired after a long journey

Rest awhile in this wood

Alas, impatient, you look into space!

What are your names? I am Happiness, and I am passing through

and you? I am Joy, and I am going far away!

And you? I am Hope: I flee swiftly away

And you? Do you wish to follow these faithless creatures too?

No, I am Friendship: I do not fly away!

The signatures attached to the spine of the book appear to have pink ribbon in them so I have incorporated a piece of pink velvet ribbon in this piece too.


Comments on: "Something old" (7)

  1. This page is perfectly crafted to hold this poem.

  2. It’s so sift and lovely! beautiful

    • sadly I don’t know who wrote it. I searched for it on the internet without success. I guess it was something the woman, a Mary Parmentier, who dedicated this poem to her fried Adele, had come across somewhere in her own life.

  3. This really is perfection. Beautiful in every way–and thanks for the translation–I got part of it but not all.

  4. your artwork complements the poem so well!

  5. How much fun I had translating the French into English as I read. It is also very nice to know that Madame’s efforts to teach me French are still paying off, thirty years later.

    Your page and the poem are both lovely and complement one another very well. Thank you so much for sharing.


  6. Lovely, simply lovely. Do you have any idea who the author of the poem is?

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