French : En remontant le fleuve

This is the first stanza of a song by Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine (I haven’t transcribed his name properly).

I like the imagery used in the (French) text. Please comment and correct. Thanks!

Here is the French text and a (very) tentative English translation

En remontant le fleuve au-delà des rapides
(Going up the river, beyond the rapids)
Au-delà des falaises accrochées sur le vide
(Beyond the cliffs overhanging empty space)
Où la faune et la flore jouent avec les langueurs
Where wildlife plays with the languor)
De la nuit qui s’étale, ivre de sa moiteur
(Of the night spreading, drunk with its own moistness)
En remontant le fleuve où d’étranges présences
(Going up the river where strange presences)
Invisibles, nous guettent et murmurent en silence
(Invisible ones, lie in wait for us and whisper silently)
Où sales et fatigués sous les ombres englouties
(Where, dirty and tired, under the engulfed shadows)
Nous fixons les lueurs d’un faux jour qui s’enfuit
(We stare at the glimmer of a weak, fleeing light)
En remontant le fleuve…
(Going up the river)

Previous post:
Next post:
6 comments Add yours
  1. Bonsoir, Aymeric !

    That's nice. As I don't know DJS French, I can't make very precise remarks.
    One obvious mistake, though: in the title, you wrote Hubert Pelix Thiéfaine.

    One things that misled me: the commas. I agree, that sometimes, without them, it can be hard to read a text you haven't written yourself. The problem is: they look like very much like 's'… I wonder sometimes what sign I could use to note them…

    One last remark, about the style: your 'f' are a bit too vertical sometimes.


  2. Although I do not know this version well enough to comment on whether it is 100% “correct”, it is clearly written and I can read every word! So well done – keep it up.
    It’s really nice to have French DJS to read occasionally.

  3. Thanks for your comments!

    Yes I was going to ask the same question regarding commas but then I forgot. In my manual they stand out because they look like "printed" commas while the S’s look like handwritten commas. But I can’t handwrite "printed" commas so I’m not sure how to deal with them.

    Thanks Christine for your comment regarding my F’s. I always have trouble giving a nice shape to my FR and FL combinations. Sometimes I think they would be easier to write with an acute angle between the 2 letters, as I have sometimes seen in my manual (though most of the time in my manual the angle is rounded, as I’ve tried to do here).

    1. For the 'F', it is easier to curve them nicely if you remember to start the sign a little bit more on the right.

      'Fr' and 'Fl'… it would be a shame to draw them with a acute angle.
      Don't they look like bird necks? They are so elegant, particularly 'Fl' that is like a cygnus.

Leave a Reply