Du fond des cirques ténébreux

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by BrightonNative, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Bonjour,
    I am not familiar with this term, cirques. Apparently, in English, "cirques" can mean, a basin, geographically speaking. Could it mean the geographical term here? It's just a bit specialist and I don't think a lot of people are going to know what "cirques" are. Perhaps there is another missed meaning of cirques here? What that got to do with a sheep running round the carnations? Any insights would be appreciated!

    Context - poem by F. Jammes:
    Renais, soleil ! Du fond des cirques ténébreux.
    Renaissez, renaissez, Mystères glorieux,
    Par la brebis qui tremble au milieu des œillets ?
  2. djweaverbeaver Senior Member

    English Atlanta, GA USA
    I think that's it. If you imagine a landscape similar to the one photographed here, I don't think it's much of a stretch. Having just read the poem, it seems quite religious in tone in my opinion. If you think of the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the fact that we are called the sheep/flock and the Jesus Christ is referred to as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. Moving from the darkness into the light could either refer to salvation or the result of his crucifixion. The sun could also symbolize the fact that Jesus is also called the Light of the World in New Testament Scriptures. The rainbow could be a reference to God's Old Testament covenant to never again destroy the world by floodwater. I'm just conjecturing.
  3. Yes, thank you for your detailed insight, djweaverbeaver. It is indeed very religious. I might go for corries rather than cirques which seems quite an uncommon word.
  4. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    Or a cove, like Malham Cove? (I don't know how to do that trick with the link to show you a picture, but it's easy to find.)
  5. frenchifried Senior Member

    English - UK
    Cirque can also mean crater, and figuratively, disorder or mayhem.
  6. Thanks, Itisi and frenchifried. Yes, indeed, it can mean craters. Unless I'm wrong, I don't think it's being used in a figurative way.

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