Friday, June 24, 2016


La Cansound Dou
by Frédéric Mistral

Lou païsan, ounte que siegue,
Es lou cepoun de la nacioun;
Auran beu faire d'envencoun,
Fau que la terro se boulegue;
Tant que i'ague de pan e de vin.

The peasant, in any land is the backbone of the nation
We research in vain, we invent in vain,
The earth must be plowed;
And for as long as the world has not ended
There has to be bread and wine.

Immediately after moving to Provence, I began wondering who this monsieur named Frédéric Mistral was.  Repeatedly I saw bus stops, high schools, cafés, and parks that bore his name. Curious, I checked out a book from the local bibliothèque and realized that Frédéric Mistral is the soul of Provence! In 1914, he was born in the village of Maillane, France, which is located near La Durance, a river immortalized by the Roman Naturalist, Gaius Plinius Secundus. Frédéric Mistral was not only a poet - he was a playwright and linguist and he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. I'm quite curious if the famous Mistral wind was named after him, too?  After living here for a few months and visiting vineyards, olive groves, lavender fields, honey farms..., I began to feel such respect for the Provençaux whose hard work in this dry land is evident.
At any rate, What I love most about him and Provence is summed up in this poem.