Be True

I lost a crucial part of my own self

in turning my back on my mother tongue,

when once I spoke, and laughed, and dreamt in French,

I now, without fail, count myself among,

those sad cases of lost identity

that should serve as a warning to the young.

 

Even writing these few reflective lines

I fall back on the comfort of five feet

at home with iamb and pentameter

and from the alexandrine I retreat.

(Though once it was Racine and not Shakespeare

that would author my literary treats.)

 

Mais j’ai décidé que, pour moi ça ne vaut plus

la peine de me cacher derrière la langue anglaise,

Je vais réapprendre la langue que j’avais sue

et maintenant que l’autre partie de moi se taise.

 

But I’ve decided it no longer pays,

hiding behind the language I know best,

I’ll re-learn many a forgotten phrase

while, for now, keeping quiet with the rest.

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