Henri Monnier’s Cat Poetry Giveaway: 2 Poems

I decided to wait a couple of days before posting the poems to make sure everyone would see the main post for the giveaway.

Then, when I was ready for my human to post the poems… she was busy reading. She devoted her free time to finishing the lovely book Love Saves the Day, which she absolutely wanted to finish once she had started it!

Anyway, when my human interviewed Henri Monnier, author and publisher of the books you can win, he authorized her to copy and translate 2 poems on my blog, for my readers. All rights reserved.

My human tried her best to translate the two poems I chose, but she thinks a little is lost (most of the time) in translation, especially in poetry with rhymes and sometimes a certain number of feet. Also many words in French which have the syllable “cha” (sounding like “chat” or cat in French), used purposefully by the author, are lost in the translation.

The first poem is a tribute to ladies who give food to feral cats. The poem can be found in the collection of poems “Les Chats de Saint-Sulpice.”

Discrete Charity Charité discrète
I will never say it enough
Oh! all the good we must think of
Brave ladies with their fragile hearts
That travel all the city parts,
To bring enough to erring cats
To let them pounce on this and that.
Je ne dirai jamais assez
Tout le bien qu’il nous faut penser
Des braves dames au cœur fragile
Qui s’en vont à travers la ville,
Apporter aux chats vagabonds
De quoi faire encore quelques bonds.
They don’t care ’bout those mocking them
People with very little brain,
And other, bigger fish to fry,
The weather might be wet or dry
These ladies leave some sustenance
To cats considered a nuisance.
Indifférentes aux railleries
Des gens qui n’ont que peu d’esprit,
Et d’autres chats à fouetter,
On les voit hiver comme été
Déposer quelque subsistance
Aux animaux de la malchance.
All these cats with so sad a fate
Were abandoned on any date
Because of undignified people,
They hope for a sign or signal
To be happy just like before,
Is it a plea you can ignore?
Tous ces chats au triste destin
Abandonnés un beau matin
Par la faute de gens indignes,
Ils n’attendent de vous qu’un signe
Pour être heureux tout comme avant,
N’est-ce pas un peu émouvant.
If you have a delicate heart
To give your smile, it would be smart
To the aspiring old lady
Who heals a cat, or a doggie,
And even if it is not much
Your act is a good cause as such.
Si vous avez le cœur sensible
Souriez tant qu’il est possible
A la vieille dame qui vient
Soigner un chat, peut-être un chien,
Et même si c’est peu de chose
Vous servirez la bonne cause.
She got no legion of honor,
Never does she get a flower,
She finds her very own reward
In always being straightforward
And she takes from her small pension
What she needs for her good action.
Elle n’a pas la légion d’honneur,
Jamais elle ne reçoit de fleurs,
Elle trouve sa récompense
En agissant comme elle pense
Et prend sur sa maigre pension
De quoi faire sa bonne action.
She is discrete in her process
She never does try to impress
But do not think for a second
That she doesn’t like the children,
She only endeavors to say
In her own way, a little prayer.
C’est une personne discrète
Qui ne cherche pas à paraitre,
Mais ne croyez pas pour autant
Qu’elle n’aime pas les enfants,
Elle essaie seulement de faire
A sa manière, une prière.



The second one is about how we, kitties, need to be loved, too. It can be found in “Sa Majesté le Chat.”

Cuddles Cajoleries
Jumping about, pouncing, running,
Having fun with next to nothing
You’re so fragile, as you snuggle,
Yet wonderfully indocile
You’re looking for some affection;
Playing the card of seduction,
Like nobody has done before
And when it works you purr some more.
Tu bondis, tu vas et viens,
En t’amusant d’un presque rien
Et tu te blottis, si fragile,
Merveilleusement indocile
En quête d’un peu d’affection ;
La carte de la séduction,
Tu la joues bien mieux que personne
Et quand c’est parti, tu ronronnes.
You make the most of the torrent
Of cuddles and the contentment
Of my strokes that bring you calmness,
You’re so looking for tenderness
You are using all the assets
That only nice tomcats possess,
We are always caught in your game
You too need to be loved the same.
Tu profites nonchalamment
Des câlins et de l’agrément
Que te procurent les caresses,
Tu recherches tant la tendresse
En usant de tous les atouts
Que possède un gentil matou,
On est pris à ton stratagème,
Toi aussi, t’as besoin qu’on t’aime.

****You have until tomorrow 11.59 pm to enter the giveaway here. Please enter via Rafflecopter if you want to win one of these books! Good luck everyone!****

20 thoughts on “Henri Monnier’s Cat Poetry Giveaway: 2 Poems

  1. Oh those poems are so good. Of course we love the one about the feral kittties. But they are both good and for sure the Mom did such a good job translating them. But then we wouldn’t have noticed the difference. Take care and have a good weekend.
    Marg recently posted…Formerly Feral FridayMy Profile

  2. Congratulations to your Human for the translation, dear Texas! it is really excellent! Even some rhymes are met! Great job, indeed! and the poet will be so proud to see his poems translated into English and posted on the blog of a famous cat in New York! Many hugs.

  3. Texas it was really wonderful for your Mom to translate those poems – they’re both REALLY special and we also love the illustrations from the book that we’ve seen. I’m sure the author would be proud of the job your Mom did just like you are!! Thanks to you and your Mom for sharing – we love poetry, stories, drawings and ANYTHING to do with cats (imagine that!).

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy
    Sammy recently posted…Welcome To My Pawty!My Profile

  4. We know that translation just doesn’t always work out right. I know Seinfeld that was a huge hit here in the US was a total bomb in Germany because the humor didn’t translate. It is a bummer but that is language and rhymes…forget that, impossible!
    emma recently posted…What’s Up At My House | GBGVMy Profile

  5. Merci pour ce beau partage. J’aime beaucoup ces deux poèmes. J’adore la poésie en général, surtout quand elle parle de chat ;) Bises et bon week-end.
    Eirwena recently posted…ACCUEILMy Profile

  6. I don’t know French although I came THISCLOSE to being adopted by a French couple who were at the same adoption event my peeps went to. TW had to tell the Mlle to back slowly away from my cage and no one would get hurt.

    These poems are a lot better than anything TW ever wrote.
    Cathy Keisha recently posted…Finding My Comfort ZoneMy Profile

  7. Pingback: The winners of the poetry books are… | Texas, a cat in New York

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