Carpe Diem — by Theodore de Banville (trans.)


by Theodore de Banville 

translated from the French by Lasha Darkmoon


Young man lost in life’s merry maze,
bright as the southern sun’s gold rays,
don’t ever change your madcap ways.

Here lies true wisdom: love wine, love
beauty and the blue sky above.
The rest is trash. This is enough.

Smile!—smile even when fate’s malign;
and when the poppy shows her shine,
scatter her petals in your wine.

For when the body’s stowed away
in its dark hole, what can one say?
Oh, to have loved one long sweet May!

“Study Causation, look for what’s led
from this to that!” you’ll hear it said.
Words! Words!  Gather roses instead!

11 thoughts to “Carpe Diem — by Theodore de Banville (trans.)”

  1. “Gather roses instead!”

    “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

    by any other name

  2. Lovely words Lasha and a reminder how “life tis but a candle in the wind.”
    I now live alone in my beautiful, green garden.
    I live a life of beautiful senses and I know my creator is with me.
    I paint beautiful pictures of LIFE resplendent. I play my violin, flute and guitar.
    I sometimes look outside and see the horrible world of the death force amongst us.
    Jesus said he is “the life, the truth and the way” (not necessarily in that order)
    Jesus said the Jews represent eternal darkness – that black hole of nothingness in the ground. Far away from the beautiful May day!
    I live my life as the Melbourne (Australia) Street Poet wrote for me many years ago:
    “Keep wandering, dreaming, surging, bubbling over, delighting in the sun’s rays.
    Keep thinking, projecting, talking and you’ll live fully, feeling always.”
    We can all paint the atmosphere through which we look, as long as the Jews do not put you in a gulag, as for Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He had to try to sleep with one blanket and a bright light shining one foot away from his head. The temp outside was minus 25 degrees.
    We MUST guard our freedom to be able to enjoy the beautiful, blue May day.

      1. All real poets have remnants of the past in their psyche; otherwise they could not effectively appeal to universal conscience. Unfortunately, in this modern world of mediocre encouragement (or ‘encouragement of mediocrity’, if you will..), so much is thrown at us, we don’t have – or take – time to consider each prospect.

        I must repeat: the term ‘chopped-up prose’ is too often called ‘poetry’ (accompanied by the added insult of poor punctuation!).

        Nice sentiments displayed, here – but they are NOT ‘poetry’.

        1. Typical ego-driven, vile crap from Gilbert Huntly.
          Gilby, my message is not meant to be poetry, you dill!
          As for bad punctuation, it does not apply to me. I went to a different uni to you!
          But I do not think you have any worthwhile education.
          You are a troll, always seeking one upmanship to prove your miserable lack of in-depth intellect.
          I wish an ass-hole like you would blow away in the wind! GROW A BRAIN!

  3. @ Max

    Didn’t know it was your piece, Maxy, or I wouldn’t have been so candid. In fact, I believe I meant to post that comment for the OTHER reference to carpe diem. Oh, well…

    Now that you mention it, it’s sort of fun to get you riled-up! Maybe I’ll give-it-a-stab, another day. Meanwhile, have fun in your little garden, with the other plants! 🙂

    1. You did good. Or did i mean to say Max was a bit of a long-winded ego-centric wind bag? I have no garden. That’s the end of my poem.

    2. seize the day,
      and carpe not,
      strike the iron while it’s hot,
      damn the punctuation, full speed ahead,
      don’t let the protocols catch you in bed.

      the name of the poem is “this is not a poem”.

      (a preemptive measure to ward off literary vigilantes)

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