André Chénier (1762-1794)

Written by Nurel Javissyarqi
Translated by Agus B. Harianto

André Chénier (1762-1794), French poet, was born in Constantinople, and died by giyotin (ax hanging) in Paris, when the great revolution is raging fire. Like Ronsard, he influenced so many Roman poets, as well as the Ancient Greeks. However, his language was solid, very lively and enthusiasm that derived from bright fantasy in the arena of the revolution, and considered as the pioneer of the romantic era of French. Chénier was also composing neo classical poems, satirical and also poems within philosophy of knowledge of his era. His most famous poem, also the final work is Le Jeune Captive, it tells about the same person whom imprisoned with him.

André Chénier

Bagai sinar terakhir, bagai sepoi penghabisan
Yang melincah akhir hari yang permai,

Masih kucoba petik kecapi di kaki tiang gantungan;
Siapa tahu! Giliranku datang tak lama lagi.

Ya, siapa tahu! sebelum jarum menit dalam lingkaran,
Yang tercantum di muka jam kemilau,

Menamatkan enam puluh kali detik ingsutan
Dengan si pongang klenengan bergalau,

Tidur abadi telah tutup kedua pelupuk mata,
Sebelum pada sajak yang kugubah,

Aku mulai membubuh persajakan akhir-akhir barisnya,
Maka antara dinding-dinding ngeri, mungkin

Pembawa pesan dari Maut, si Hitam pengerah bayang-bayang,
Diiringkan oleh serdadu yang engkar

Telah menggemakan namaku di suram ruang panjang.

FROM: The Last Poem
By André Chénier

Like the last rays, like last breeze
Which actively to the lovely the end of day,

I am still trying to play the harp at the bottom of the gallows;
Who knows! My turn came soon enough.

Yes, who knows! before the minute hand in a circle,
Which listed in the shimmering clock face,

Finished the sixty seconds of moving
With the arrogant of confused bell,

The everlasting sleep had closed eyelids,
Before into the poem I composed,

I started to affix the rhyme at the end of its lines,
Thus, among the walls of horror, might be

The messenger of the Death, the Black who stirred up the shadows,
Accompanied by reluctant soldier

Have echoed my name on the bleak of the long room.

(from the book Puisi Dunia (World Poetry), Volume I, compiled by M. Taslim Ali, Balai Pustaka, 1952, which is in re-translation would be more less like above)

Paid attention to Chénier Last Poem, feel it in the echo of reading slowly, threshing on the barren fields of times, roared and broke, the bad luck was awaiting for a calling of hanging ax, the life was firmed would fly away.

Now I started to retrace, hopefully the knowledge of eternal poetic in the soul: Chénier realized his fighting for, dispelled as the end of the banana leaf waving, and in the light of evening sun gives the greeting of peace.

Resembling the ancient grandeur had got by prosperity, the end had understood by the decreased breeze to hide, going into the defects of the night, frozen in the meaning of the most picturesque.

Be impatient to wait for the calling then to hum, with the harp the heart sung the sorrow, its rhythm tore and cut the quietest sky.

Diffuse cloud and cumulus uncovered by the meaning of dreams, shaking legs in the conviction there are doubt, because the time was going to happen.

How useless to regret, fortunately it still understood, who knew the quiet tone of sad, it was hidden behind the change of times of period turns to mean tragedy.

Immeasurable glory, despite of signs are the puzzle. Resignation by establishment, silence sent consideration. How wonderful though the face had written poetry.

The minutes passed with respiration of wave, whispered to the ear that is in anxious of complaints, Chénier was so calm and sometimes smell flowers fragrance of freshness, refresh his staring and purify the mind.

Pleading without witnesses unless the secret, the self on the edge of certainty, by extended the range of possibilities, if the flowers waiting for a kiss of beetles.

Who knew that the time could be invited to be friends, to be loyal to the coming death wished to tenderly embraced, blossoming buds would always be remembered, so any song of eternity.

He spelled the seconds to tether the anxiety, didn’t feel or more felt, be nervous but sung on holiness, pumped his heart as such the spirit of patriotic.

The time was soft as vapor flight by the air that was flew by breath, waiting for to peep at the suspicion, although the sound of bell was almost finish.

The meaning of time was getting delicious like hospitalization, the blowing of colorfully sip honey entered livelihood.

Clarity of silence opened the hijab (veil) slowly; anxiety broke whole staring with the miracle of origins.

The nerves of tree follow the root, the blossoming flower back to be bud again, the air enters into the mouth of the early knowledge, myth frozen, Chénier was like a stone.

How long he waited with nerves beating in the cavity of water to compose the poem, still no one heard.

Chénier was not satisfied to mature his life, breathed each other to comfort widespread natural attraction, such as always reborn, so was the man willed to accept the fate of human beings carried.

Be grateful on magnanimity by prayed hope, he presumed as died in asleep in this live, sick of sugar (the essence of Sufism) gained the meaning.

Without boring to conclude the comprehensions, be serious to conscious what he deserved to achieve, which reached by the last opened eyes, he didn’t composed yet the culmination, had willingly accepted.

The blood was boiling, put the time-space into the lines of his silence poem to the end, the cold wall of the eye without a smile, grim faces were condescending, and sometimes investigated as far as the assumptions.

And what has been stored could not be measured through immature assessments. His soul went in peace, although what a terrible it was, what he loved and what he hated went off one by one.

Arriving at the beach which is covered by desert among the rocks, fierce winds damaged the sailing ship, because of without the love of sailors.

But Chénier confirmed prudence of sleepiness, embraced through signal line, without eerie, when the whole blended over.

Although didn’t recognize the messenger of his shadow, but he always believe that he is at the side of the house next to the body.

Lying under or even walking, doesn’t know anything, the time to be removed was no longer imagined, because token by the shadow went to the far place that is guarded by troops.

Until it was unable to abduction the agency with intact of breath of understanding, get lost to see who was maturing the previous.

The opinions and arguments got the worthy grade, as such the intense under the night, the thickness of blackened clouds covered over the day, and such a layer stacked into the chests of curious.

Fingers and wild eyes had already familiar that is truly it far away, through matured heart, Chénier known mildly the tips of poems, caressed by thin smoothing of had been there.

How echoes the words of between deaths upheld by trembling conviction, the pounding pulsation of the witness fills the bleak spaces of everlasting reverberation, commands to the mental to be memorized by the teaching.

The song as far as the last trumpet merged the life, transformed to be the dust flown over by the air in the sunlight, through the flesh to meet the longed history.

The firm intention with the poem the soul would never dies, though buried by intrigue of barrow greedy.

Fragrant smelt reports the heart, permeates ticking age of firmly establishing, undeniable to cover the spirit’s blowing, for the blessing had already on the hand.

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