Monthly Archives: April 2015

Pour Faire le Portrait d’un Oiseau – par Jacques Prévert



To Make the Portrait of a Bird – by Jacques Prévert

A Elsa Henriquez

First paint a cage
with an open door
then paint
something pretty
something simple
something beautiful
something util
for the bird
then place the canvas against a tree
in a garden
in a forest
or in a forest
to hide behind the tree
without speaking
without moving …
Sometimes the bird comes quickly
but it may as well put many years
before deciding


Do not get discouraged
wait if necessary for years to
speed or slow the arrival of the bird
with the table success


When the bird arrives
if he can
observe the most profound silence
waiting for the bird enters the cage
and when he came
gently close the door with the brush
and then
delete one by one all the
bars, taking care not to touch any feathers of the bird
then also paint the green foliage and wind-chill
dust of the sun
and the sound of grass cattle in the summer heat
and then wait for the bird to decide to sing


if the bird does not sing
it’s a bad sign
indicating that the table is bad
but if he sings a good sign
indicating that you can sign
Then you gently pluck
a feather from the bird
and you write your name in a corner of the table.


To Paint the Portrait of a Bird … by Jacques Prévert

First paint a cage
With an open door
Then paint
Something pretty
straightforward Something
Something beautiful
Something Useful
For the bird
Then the canvas contre up a tree
In a garden
In a wood
Or in a forest
Hide yourself behind the tree
Without speaking
Without moving …
Sometimes the bird Will come soon
Purpose It Could aussi Easily take Many Years
For it to decide
Wait if Necessary for years
The rapidity or slowness of the arrival of the bird
Has no connection with the success of the painting
When the bird arrives
If it arrives
Observe The Most Profound Silence
Wait until the bird Enters the cage
and When It has Entered
Gently close the door with the brush
Erase one by one all of the bars
While being white careful not to touch Any of the feathers of the bird
Then make a portrait of the tree
Choosing The Most Beautiful of ict branches
For the bird
Paint aussi the green foliage and the freshness of the wind
The dust of the sun
And the noise of the creatures of the grass in the heat of summer
and Then wait for the bird to decided to sing
If the bird Does not sing
It’s a bad sign
A sign que la painting is no good
purpose if It Does sing it’s a good sign
A sign That You can sign.
Then you gently pull out
One of the feathers of the bird
And you sign your name in a corner of the painting.

Trans. Eugene Levich