Au bord de l'île on voit
Les canots vides qui s'entre-cognent
Ni le dimanche ni les jours de la semaine
Ni les peintres ni Maupassant ne se promènent
Bras nus sur leurs canots avec des femmes
à grosse proitine
Et bêtes comme chou2
Petits bateaux vous me faites bien de la peine
Au bord de l'île
1The name given to a small island in the Seine which was popular with artists at the end of the nineteenth century.
2Chou, literally cabbage, is a diminutive.
Along the banks of the islet one sees
the empty rowing boats which bump together
neither on Sundays nor on weekdays
neither the painters nor Maupassant wander by
arms bare in their boats with women
with large bosoms
and stupid as pie
little boats you make me so very sad
along the banks of the islet
© translated by Christopher Goldsack
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