Archives: A Poem in Three Languages


Here is a reminder that I like to play with language. I am not quite sure when I wrote this, but I suspect it was either late in my undergrad years or early in my graduate studies.  The first version was the Latin one; this is very likely a metred Latin poetic form that I should go look up because it’s been over a quarter of a century (!) since I’ve studied this.  I then translated it into French, then English, then started in German but never finished.  The imagery still rings true to me.

No, I’m not quite sure who it’s about. It may have been more abstract than that.

lux autumna meam et quies
rector te coris audax: calefacta sum
etsi alta hiems etiam veniet
quando argentea stella ima Decembre agit
iubar te enitebit tamen
constans non deficet dux, amicus meus.

ma lumière et paix d’autumne
posseseur téméraire de mon cœur:  je suis chauffée
même si l’hiver profond viendra
quand pendant Decembre au loin, l’étoile argente m’emouverra
tu, phare céleste, brillera néanmoins
un guide constant, tu ne failliras pas, mon ami

My light and peace of autumn
bold caretaker of my heart:  I am warmed
even if  deep winter should fall
when December’s distant and silvery star moves my soul
you, celestial radiance, will none the less blaze forth
my constant guide, my friend, you shall not fail me.

Mein herbstlicher Licht und Freide
unerschrockener Besitzer von meinem Herz: ich wird von dir gewärmt….