myriad lents


Senior Member
French- France
"Daubed with ashes of myriad lents"
This is a verse from "Ballad at 35" by Dorothy Parker.
I don't quite get the meaning of this sentence.
My dictionary says Lent = Carême (long fast in Christian religions) but I doubt it is the right idea here.

Could anyone help?
Thanks a lot.
  • anangelaway

    Senior Member
    Bonjour Cecily, :)

    Je rajoute un peu de contexte afin de mieux comprendre.

    Decked in garments of sable hue,
    Daubed with ashes of myriad Lents,
    Wearing shower bouquets of rue,
    Walk I ever in penitence.
    Complete lyrics

    Cela dit, pour l'instant, c'est le 'daubed' qui me pose problème pour comprendre le sens, mais je réfléchis.
    Efectivement, Lent is carême, myriad is myriade.


    Senior Member
    French- France
    Merci Anangelaway,
    D'ailleurs le "shower bouquets of rue" me pose problème aussi.

    "Daubed" : je la vois "couverte" de cendres...

    "Couverte de cendres de myriades de Carêmes
    Sous une pluie de bouquets de rue"

    Does this make sense?

    Agent Literary

    Senior Member
    England, English
    The verses are certainly religiously charged.
    My instinct is that the "ashes of myriad Lents" are the Ash Wednesdays that begin the period of Lent each year. To my mind, it is simply an expression of her experience ("the sum of experiments") and is an equivalent of saying, "I've lived through many a long Winter", although the imagery she has chosen is clearly different. She is "daubed" with these ashes because they are the outward manifestation of her age. The poem is explicitly about age ("Ballade at Thirty-five") so I'm fairly sure that most of the metaphors are employed towards a stronger sense of its being "no ballad of innocence".

    Thanks for the question Cecily :) I like the poem.
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