l'auréole des oiseaux bleuillis

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by hemiola, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. hemiola New Member

    USA, English

    I need a little help translating the following sentence from the poem "L'amiral cherche une maison à louer" by Tristan Tzara.
    How would you translate "l'aureole" here? Are the "oiseaux bleuilles" are a poetic way of capturing the moving beams of light emanating from the lantern of a lighthouse or are they actually birds. Do the "moietiés de lumiere" then refer to the 180 degree turns the lens makes?

    My sense of the sentence, which is not yet a translation, is this: "Like birds, the blue beams of light sweeps around the beacon in half-moons, aiming at boats in the distance". But I'd like to get some other opinions. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  2. clairet

    clairet Senior Member

    London & Bordeaux
    England & English (UK version)
    poetry is tricky... and Tzara...and I don't know the poem, so I'm crazy to try - however, for something to think about:
    "The halo of birds around the lighthouse was half-darkened in the lightbeam seeking out the boats."

    The Trésor de la Langue Française couldn't find "bleuillis" or anything close. The WR dictionary has "bleui" as "blue-stained". I've gone for "darkened" - but now I think about it, it might be indicating the opposite colour effect, revealing the blue of the birds; in which case "half-coloured" ("half-emblued" sounds weird).

    oh, and welcome to the forum and thanks for the headache :)
  3. hemiola New Member

    USA, English
    Thanks for the warm welcome, clairet. I thought "tourner" was being used in the sense of "revolve" but supposing Tzara (who hailed from Rumania not France) took the verb to be synonymous with transform, what do you think of "the halo of birds around the lighthouse was tinged with blue in the beam of light seeking out ships in the distance"? Would anyone else like to take a stab at translation?
  4. clairet

    clairet Senior Member

    London & Bordeaux
    England & English (UK version)
    FWIW, I think your sentence is good; I like "tinged with blue". I didn't (and don't) think you need to translate "tourner" as it is implicit in a halo of birds around something that they are revolving (they must be flying, and to form a halo they must be revolving).

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