Julie's Reviews > Dreaming My Animal Selves/Le Songe de Mes Ames Animales

Dreaming My Animal Selves/Le Songe de Mes Ames Animales by Helene Cardona
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it was amazing
bookshelves: best-of-2015, imagined-worlds, poetry, read-2015, foreign-language

Into the liminal space between dreams and conscious thought slips this slim enchantment. I read these poems aloud in French, then silently in English, and once I came to the end, I turned back and started again.
Whispers wake me.
I return home
behind a procession of swans
to an island in the heart of Paris.
On the cliffs where the wild ones come . . .

What happens in the mind, in the mouth, when language changes? Does the essence of the poem remain, or is something else entirely other conjured from the soul when syntax and sound are altered? French demands elisions and different consonant rhythms and adjustments of vocal structure in poetic form that English does not so in effect, translation notwithstanding, the different cadence and musicality of the verses changes the way we approach the language within.
I trace patterns in dreams
through beings disguised
undone like particles broken apart
revealing pieces of me.
I pursue elusive sleep
in the hope to heal mishaps
the last chance to anchor my boat.

Je trace les motifs des songes
au travers d'êtres déguisés
libérés en particules évanouies
révélant des éclats de moi-mêmes.
Dans l'esprit de guérir mes naufrages,
je pourchasse un sommeil en cavale
ultime refuge où ancrer mon vaisseau

The use of songe instead of the more prosaic rêve (both translate as dream) is significant: rêve is the whimsy of the unconscious, roaming mind; songe suggests an exterior presence, a metaphysical force. In Cardona's poetry, it is the animal self, the other we inhabit in subconscious, the living, breathing forces of nature that propel us from life to death. Songer in its verb form means more than 'to dream'; it is to think, consider, ponder-an active, conscious state of being, existing within the world.
The desire to move
to a place in my mind
where I've always been well
brings me back
to innocence placing roses,
certain enigma
of migratory years,
out of bounds moon.
With the bones of the skull
I listen to a language of rain,
prism, melody of a world becoming.

Hélène Cardona's poetry is exquisite, sensual, mysterious. She shows the body and soul seeking harmony, batting against the bars of the conscious mind to be released into flights of imagination in verses at once earthy and ethereal.

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Reading Progress

January 27, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
January 27, 2015 – Shelved
May 3, 2015 – Started Reading
May 3, 2015 –
page 28
35.0% "ébauches exquises de ma grand-mère,\n polie par des elfes. Je dors avec ferveur.\n Sagesse et mélancolie préparent des feux, \n myriade de livres et maisons émouvantes \n \n my grandmothers exquisite designs\n engineered by elves. I sleep with fervor. \n Wisdom and melancholy build fires, \n myriad books and soulful dwellings.\n \n I'm swooning. Cardona writes like an angel."
May 10, 2015 –
page 40
50.0% "C'est une histoire d'envol,\n histoire de racines,\n histoire de grâce.\n \n This is a story of flight,\n a story of root,\n a story of grace."
May 10, 2015 – Shelved as: best-of-2015
May 10, 2015 – Shelved as: imagined-worlds
May 10, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry
May 10, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
May 10, 2015 – Finished Reading
May 11, 2015 – Shelved as: foreign-language

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Dean (new)

Dean Thanks for posting this, James. Now I'll look for poems by Hélène Cardona.

Helene Cardona Many thanks Julie Christine!

Julie Helene wrote: "Many thanks Julie Christine!"

You are so welcome, Helene!

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