Paris de Nuit…


Paris de Nuit

Trois allumettes une à une allumées dans la nuit
La première pour voir ton visage tout entier
La seconde pour voir tes yeux
La dernière pour voir ta bouche
Et l’obscuritè tout entière pour me rappeler tout cela
En te serrant dans mes bras.

Three matches lit one by one in the night
The first to see your face in its entirety
The second to see your eyes
The last to see your mouth
And the darkness all around to remind me of all of them
As I take you in my arms.


“A man had a hen that laid a golden egg for him each and every day.

The man was not satisfied with this daily profit, and instead he foolishly grasped for more.

Expecting to find a treasure inside, the man slaughtered the hen.

When he found that the hen did not have a treasure inside her after all,

he remarked to himself, ‘While chasing after hopes of a treasure,

I lost the profit I held in my hands!’

–Aesop’s Fables (Chambry edition), Index Chambry 287 = Perry 87


Ὄρνιν τις εἶχε καλὴν χρυσᾶ ὠὰ τίκτουσαν· νομίσας δὲ ἔνδον αὐτῆς ὄγκον χρυσίου εἶναι καὶ θύσας εὗρεν οὖσαν ὁμοίαν τῶν λοιπῶν ὀρνίθων. Ὁ δὲ ἀθρόον πλοῦτον ἐλπίσας εὑρεῖν καὶ τοῦ μικροῦ κέρδους ἐστερήθη. Ὅτι τοῖς παροῦσιν ἀρκείσθω τις καὶ τὴν ἀπληστίαν φευγέτω.”


(Hellenistic statue claimed to depict Aesop, Art Collection of Villa Albani, Rome)

Αἴσωπος, Aisōpos, (620–564 BC). Greek historian Herodotus claimed that Aesop (c. 620-560 BC) was a slave first owned by Xanthus on Isle of Samos and later by Iadmon who gave him freedom because he was such a skilled storyteller (Herodotus, Waterfield & Dewald,1998).…/02e7e535e6dc2bb7f6000000



Silk Road Fables:



In 1877 the term “Seidenstraße” (Die Seidenstrassen, literally “Silk Road”) was coined by the German geographer, cartographer and explorer Ferdinand von Richthofen (


On the history of “Silk Road”:


“This is the site of the Cyprian, since it is agreeable to her

to look ever from the mainland upon the bright sea

that she may make the voyage good for sailors. Around her the sea

trembles looking upon her polished image”.

(by Anyte of Tegea)


Κύπριδος οὗτος ὁ χῶρος, ἐπεὶ φίλον ἔπλετο τήναι

αἰὲν ἀπ᾽ ἠπείρου λαμπρὸν ὁρῆν πέλαγος,

ὄφρα φίλον ναύτηισι τελῆι πλόον· ἀμφὶ δὲ πόντος

δειμαίνει λιπαρὸν δερκόμενος ζόανον.


Anyte of Tegea (Greek: Ἀνύτη; fl. early 3rd century BC) was an Arcadian poet,

admired for her epigrams and epitaphs.



Noble Form

I live upon this wretched solitary cliff

Like a bird of sorrow that shuns green

Branches and clear water: and withdraw

From my worldly loves, and my very self,

So my thoughts may fly swiftly to that sun

I worship and adore. And though they fail

To spread their wings as I wish, yet if I call

Still they fly back from other paths to this.

And in the instant that they reach the place,

Where I send them, ardent, happy, their brief joy

Surpasses every delight on Earth by far.

And if they could but re-create his noble

Form, just as the burning mind desires,

I might own my portion of perfect good.

by Vittoria Colonna (1490-1547)
Translated by A. S. Kline

N’écris pas

“N’écris pas – N’apprenons qu’à mourir à nous-mêmes
Ne demande qu’à Dieu … qu’à toi, si je t’aimais !
Au fond de ton silence écouter que tu m’aimes,
C’est entendre le ciel sans y monter jamais
N’écris pas ! ”

by Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (1786-1859)

“Do not write – Let us learn for ourselves how to die.
Ask only God… and to yourself if I loved you!
In your absence’s depth to hear that you love me
Is to hear heaven without ever getting there.
Do not write! ”

Translated by Thomas D. Le in 2007


I know


I know not whether thou has been absent:
I lie down with thee, I rise up with thee,
In my dreams thou art with me.
If my eardrops tremble in my ears,
I know it is thou moving within my heart.


Aztec Indian Wedding Poem


Cet amour

Cet amour
Si violent
Si fragile
Si tendre
Si désespéré
Cet amour
Beau comme le jour
Et mauvais comme le temps
Quand le temps est mauvais
Cet amour si vrai
Cet amour si beau
Si heureux
Si joyeux
Et si dérisoire
Tremblant de peur comme un enfant dans le noir

Et si sûr de lui
Comme un homme tranquille au milieu de la nuit    …


by Jacques Prevert (4 February 1900 – 11 April 1977 ).


This love
So violent
So fragile
So tender
So hopeless
This love
Beautiful as the day
And bad as the weather
When the weather is bad
This love so true
This love so beautiful
So happy
So joyous
And so pathetic
Trembling with fear like a child in the dark

And so sure of itself
Like a tranquil man in the middle of the night…


I, too, wish to sing of heroic deeds
(about the Atreides, and about Kadmus),
but the lyre’s strings
can only produce sounds of love.
Recently, I changed the strings,
and then the lyre itself,
and tried to sing of the feats of Hercules,
but still the lyre kept singing songs of love.
So, fare well, you heroes!
because my lyre sings only songs of love.


by Anacreon (570 BC – 488 BC)
a Greek lyric poet, notable for his drinking songs and hymns.
Anacreon wrote all of his poetry in the ancient Ionic dialect.


Original text:

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