Learning in Québec

My photo
I'm someone who began learning French when I was 53. I took a BA in French at 60 but wasn't happy with my level of comprehension (though I read very well). So, having really become comfortable with Spanish only by living on the Mexican border, I'm spending more time in Québec and near the border of Quebec, in Vermont, to see if I can do that here with French. I want to encourage others to do the same.

Friday, 27 March 2009

A poem by a recent immigrant to Québec

The picture is from Canadian archives of immigrants from history, but the poem below is by a recent immigrant, Martha Irène Peñaloza. She wrote it in a writing group sponsored by the magazine, Les immigrants de la Capitale. I wrote the magazine for permission to reprint the poem here, in my translation from the French original. They said yes, but they failed to tell me if PENALOZA is really Peñaloza, so I don't know but think it must be.

À Québec

by Martha Irène PENALOZA

Québec, you are soft
As a wind just rising
You felt that way to me
Since the moment
When you let me
Take refuge in you.
Your seasons embellish you
Your nuances of colors,
Fragrances, flavors
And loves.

You are an explosion of light
And liberty.
A cradle for humanity
And for that, today
I say
This little poem.

So may my soul and my thoughts,
My reason and my philosophy
Altogether make you mine

Taking place on your land
That covers itself with a white coat …winter,
In your rose-colored gowns …spring,
In your gowns the color of earth … autumn,
In your luminous halos … summer
All in a complete and perfect harmony,
And thus I send out to you a plea :

Protect for yourself this ecosystem, this grandeur
So that you will always remain
Full of light and liberty,

You Québec, cradle for humanity.

With permission from Les immigrants de la Capitale, a monthly independent publication of information and opinion. This was in Vol. 5, No. 40, Québec, Février 2009, p. 16, in French. Translation to English by Sylvia Ann Manning.

1 comment:

  1. What a captivating photgraph from the past. It speaks louder than any words.

    However, the poem that follows is very powerful in itself.


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