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ATHENES (français / anglais)

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ATHENES

« L’intelligence est impassible et simple… »

            Anaxagore

  

L’intelligence est simple, précise et impassible,

Passive, elle n’est rien, active, elle fait briller

Pareille en son envol au  frissonnement léger

De la clarté du monde dans sa beauté tangible.

 

Mais quand elle dort, mon Prince, elle se sépare des choses

Et devient essence qui, seule dans l’univers

Figure l’éternité des éléments précaires,

Le temps perpétuel, l’infinité des roses.

 

Ainsi parlaient jadis les philosophes d’Athènes,

Insoucieux du cœur qui défaillait d’amour,

Des lèvres que l’aurore parait de ses atours,

 

Des ravissements du sang dans les nuits sereines !

Cachés dans les glycines, nous oubliions leurs mots

Mêlant nos âmes ailées au clapotement de l’eau.

 

            Athanase Vantchev de Thracy

 

ENGLISH (My translation): 

ATHENS

 ‘The intelligence is unmoved and simple...’

           Anaxagore

 

The intelligence is simple, precise and unmoved,

Passive, it is nothing, activates, it makes shine,

Similar in its flight to the light shudder

Of the clarity of the world in its tangible beauty.

 

But when she sleeps, my Prince, it parts from things

And becomes essence which, only in the universe,

Represents the eternity of the precarious elements,

The perpetual time, the infinity of the roses

 

So spoke formerly the philosophers of Athens,

Careless of the heart which weakened of love,

Careles of the lips which the dawn adorned with its attires,

 

And the delights of the blood in the serene nights!

Hidden in wisterias, we forget their words

Mixing our winged souls with the lapping of the water.

 

Notes:

Where I wrote this sonnet, I thought about of Anaxogeras and Aristotle’ philosophy concerning the intelligence.

Anaxagoras (c.500–428 B.C.): Greek philosopher of Clazomenae. He is credited with having transferred the seat of philosophy to Athens. He was closely associated with many famous Athenians and is thought to have been the teacher of Socrates. His belief that the sun was a white-hot stone and that the moon was made of earth that reflected the sun's rays resulted in a charge of atheism and blasphemy, forcing him to flee to Lampsacus, where he died. Rejecting Empedocles' four elements (earth, air, fire, and water), Anaxagoras posits an infinity of particles, or “seeds,” each unique in its qualities. All natural objects are composed of particles having all sorts of qualities; a preponderance of similar though not identical particles creates the difference between wood and stone. Anaxagoras' universe, before separation, was an infinite, undifferentiated mass. The formation of the world was due to a rotary motion produced in this mass by an all-pervading mind (nous in Greek). This led to the separating out of the “seeds” and the formation of things. Although Anaxagoras was the first to give mind a place in the universe, he was criticized by both Plato and Aristotle for only conceiving of it as a mechanical cause rather than the originator of order.

Anaxagoras was the master of Socrates; Socrates was the master of Olato; Plato was the master of Aristotle ans Aristotle.