There is a particular pleasure in listening to a poem read in its original language. No fluency is required. The words and their meanings may seem foreign but there are other ways to enjoy a poem. When Korean poet Ko Un read at UC Davis a few years back he read his poems in Korean. (Gary Snyder then read the same poem in English.) Not fluent in Korean, I found myself instead listening to the cadence and flow of Un's voice as he read each poem. It was beautiful.
This Saturday (5/13), the Alliance francaise de Sacramento presents a similar opportunity with a reading of poetry in French titled Poesie en mai: from Villon to Prevert. A selection of 15 poems taken from the period between the 15th to 20th centuries will be introduced in English and read in French. "A perfect opportunity," the Alliance francaise reminds us, "to rediscover the beauty of the French language."
The evening begins at 5pm in the Alliance francaise office located next to the Sacramento Poetry Center in the HQ: Headquarters for the Arts compound located at 25th and R Streets (1721 25th Street for those craving a specific street address).
The cost is $6 ($4 if you are a member of Alliance francaise) and reservations are requested. Call 916/453-1723.