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"A UNE INCONNUE" by Malvina Blanchecotte

Poetry Translation Women in Literature

signature of A.M. Blanchecotte, 19th century French woman poet

You are probably wondering who Malvina Blanchecotte is. She is an obscure member of a largely ignored group of writers: women poets of the 19th century. I would like to do a series of posts about her life and work, beginning with some of her own words. 

A UNE INCONNUE.

Vous qui, lisant mes vers, avez compris mon âme,
Qui, me tendant la main, avez dit : Me voici !
Vous qui voyez des pleurs sous mon voile de femme,
    Oh ! vous avez souffert aussi !

Dimanche 23 october 1854.

Since most of Blanchecotte's work is not available in English, I've provided my own translation below. I've translated for comprehension, not structure, so I have not maintained the ABAB rhyming scheme of the original.

TO AN UNKNOWN WOMAN.

You who, reading my verses, have understood my soul,
Who, holding my hand, have said: Here I am!
You who see tears under my woman's veil,
    Oh! you have also suffered!

Sunday, October 23, 1854.

Next time, we will take a look at Blanchecotte's life. À bientôt !



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