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LITANIE (français / anglais)





Donne-moi, Amour profond, un grain de solitude,

Et je ferai de lui un beau soleil d’été

Pour que les sources sonores et le silence zélé

Apprennent aux mots émus la douce grammaire du Sud !


            Athanase Vantchev de Thracy

Glose :

Litanie (n.f.): du latin ecclésiastique litania, lui-même du grec λιτανεία, “prière, supplication”. Prière liturgique où toutes les supplications sont suivies d’une formule brève récitée ou chantée par les assistants. Litanie des saints : longue énumération des noms des saints.

Zélé, e (adj.) : du bas latin zelus, « ardeur », lui-même du grec ζήλος, «zèle, empressement, ardeur, émulation ».


ENGLISH (My translation) :



Give me, O deep Love, a seed of your solitude,

And I shall make of him a beautiful summer sun

So that the sound sources and the diligent silence

Teach the moved words the sweet grammar of the South! 


ENGLISH (Norton Hodges' translation):



Give me, O unfathomable Love, a grain of solitude,

and I will make of it a fine summer sun

so that sounding springs and eager silence

will teach hasty words the gentle grammar of the South!


Notes :

Litany : from Greek ‘litaneia’, ‘prayer’. Solemn prayer characterized by varying petitions with set responses. The term is mainly used for Christian forms. Litanies were developed in Christendom for use in processions. In the West there were traditionally four days for these processional litanies, the Rogation Days. (Rogation: from Latin ‘rogatio’, ‘the act to ask something’) The Eastern liturgies make frequent use of litanies, recited by the deacon; the response is usually “Lord, have mercy.” (It is the title of my last 27th collection of poems published this year 2005). The Greek ‘Kyrie eleison’ (‘Lord, have mercy’ in English) is a relic of such a litany. In the Roman Catholic Church the one liturgical litany, the Litany of the Saints, dates from the 5th century substantially. Modeled after it are a number of non liturgical (i.e., non prescribed) litanies, of which the following are authorized: Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus (15th cent.), Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (or of Loreto; 16th cent.), Litany of the Sacred Heart, and Litany of St. Joseph. The litany in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer is much like the Litany of the Saints. Moravian and Lutheran liturgies also use litanies.

Christendom refers to the medieval and renaissance notion of the Christian world as a sort of social and politic polity. Polity is a general term that refers to political organisation of a group. It is used to describe religious political organisation, particularly Christian.