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La Ciotat***

La Ciotat, la Ciotat, sweet name of the country,
Name that makes me dream, name that makes me see again,
A sea where the wave never rages
A steep red mountain that turns red in the evening
Plunged into a black abyss.

Arrival at La Ciotat

Yesterday I came back to the city asleep
And I saw the sad, sweet old friend again;
And in front of me flew the rediscovered past
Like a flood of dust walking lifted;
And so you ascended in impalpable swarms,
O memories, old venerable plane trees,
Walled gardens, chestnut trees, white paths,
And I was going, in the shadows hastening my trembling steps,
And I walked, grave and dumb, with fear
That she did not suddenly wake up the extinct city;
Because what I liked only that night
It was to approach her very gently
To put, without disturbing his haughty reverie,
A kiss on the forehead of the good grandmother …

The Bay

Eagle's beak

The natural bridge

The Capuchins of La Ciotat

When the old Capuchins went away in the evening;
In the pious evening of the bell that calls them
Through the cloister garden to the chapel,
If their eyes casually turned away to see
To climb in front of the threshold some humble new flower

They did not suspect the sad Capuchins,
That under the harmonious rustle of the pines,
In the shadow of the ancient convent which sighs
Other flowers would bloom in a smile
And would come to embalm the centuries of old saints …


Port of La Ciotat ***

Small port of Provence at sunset …
As in a painting sometimes lives a big dream,
It sums up the sea and the west ruddy;

The gesture of tightening its dikes, which it does not complete
Not even, enough to hold on to his heart
The sparkle of every ray, the smell of every strike.

Sweetness !, simplicity! … Live, drive your boat,
And cast his net to deserve his bread,
And without pride, without wishing to be noticed,

In the still warm shade of the old Latin bell tower,
Love a little, pray a little, and then for that
From Saint Pierre to leave his boat one fine morning….

Isn't that what says, when everything is shaking,
The brave little port, in the purple evening,
Humble, but where does all the gold in the West flow? …

And as the shadow extinguishes the flight of the gulls,
As towards the distance the sirens are alarmed,
Very gently, as well as watchful eyes,

The small exact port awakens its two lighthouses …

Our Lady of the Guard *

Our Lady of the Guard
Our Lady of the Sailors,
Sweet and thoughtful, look
Towards the vessels which, far away,
Go where the wind risks them,
Our Lady of the Sailors,
Our Lady of the Guard.

* poem from the collection “Le chemin blanc” 1904
*** poem from the collection "La terre des lauriers" 1912


Copyright © – Véronique Ripert – Tous Droits Réservés –
Webmaster – Nelly Johnson – Site créé le 4 janvier 2007