Sentier des Douaniers

Margo Roby’s Tuesday Tryout gave us this painting by Monet, Fisherman’s House at Varengeville, Haute Normandie, as inspiration for a poem.  Among other ideas, she suggests we “Do what your brain started as soon as it saw the painting.”  Monet;s painting reminded me immediately of Cabane Vauban which is about 25 miles south of where I live.

Cabane Vauban - Gouville
Cabane Vauban, Carolles, Manche from Ma Normandie 

Sentier des Douaniers

Chemin des gardiens du royaume ─
ici on guettait les eaux
en attendant les contrebandiers
solitaire et loin du confort.
Des batailles entre criminels
et la loi ont gâché  la paix
de  ce paysage marin glorieux
afin d’assurer les revenus du pays.

Des mœurs évoluent,
enfin les randonneurs apprécient
le frisson de l’histoire du scène,
en prenant leur plaisir de la paix.

Which roughly translates as

The Customs Path

The way of the guardians of the realm ─
where they kept watch over the waters
for smugglers; lonely
and far from the comfort of home.
Skirmishes between criminals
and the law marred the peace
of this glorious seascape
in order to protect
the revenue of the country.

Customs changed
and now ramblers enjoy
a frisson from the history
while taking their pleasure in peace.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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27 Responses to Sentier des Douaniers

  1. this made me miss Normandie…and you, even more

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bodhirose says:

    I enjoyed that you posted a photo of the place that you were reminded of, Viv. They are similar. I’m glad that the customs changed. It seems much of history has a criminal aspect to it. Or maybe that’s just life in general…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jae Rose says:

    Both are beautiful – you manage to capture the flow, solidity and beauty of the place in two languages – three if you include poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. julespaige says:

    New word ‘frisson’.
    Wow that could be a match made in heaven… well even if it was once a route for pirates or smugglers.

    Thanks for your ‘Eagle eye’ correction made.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ayala says:

    A lovely share !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Polly says:

    So very lovely, the poem and the two pictures – nice response to the prompt

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It was well and good. Responsible gate-keeping. But the equation changed for lots of reasons much prompted by greed invariably!


    Liked by 1 person

  8. really cool seeing the poem in two languages.

    the picture is beautiful as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. scotthastiepoet says:

    “a frisson from the history
    while taking their pleasure in peace.” Great summation here which gets to the essence of it all, Viv.
    A treat to read… Thank you… With Best Wishes Scott

    Liked by 1 person

  10. hypercryptical says:

    Do wish I knew French as I am certain there is an added beauty to your words there. It is good that history has changed and customs have become that of pleasure.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes.. A Truth
    is culture
    and religion
    does not
    give humans
    innately.. instinctually
    and intuitively.. Credit..
    for ruLinG themselves..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Wonderful & imaginative take on the Monet The English translation survives scrutiny, giving us both that historical perspective & a terrific immediacy, that intense sense of place that is essential for all good writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Love the picture and the gorgeous poem inspired by it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mary says:

    Sad when the peace of a beautiful area is marred because of criminal activity! Ah, the French words look so much more melodic than the English ones!


  15. Love the two versions.. there is something quite special with the light in Normandie, which I guess attracted all the impressionists.. My cousin lives close to Dieppe, and we spent a few days there, like walking inside a painting…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. clothespeggedpat says:

    Interesting little bit of history that you have provided for us – as inspired by the original painting.

    I loved the French poem – truly, it captures the spirit and haunting history of the building.

    Great interpretations! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. margo roby says:

    I love having both poems to read. The hut you found is remarkably similar (looks a little colder, perhaps).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. katechiconi says:

    That’s a lovely phrase: “solitaire et loin de confort”. True of so many jobs… I can well see why you are reminded by the painting, the resemblance is remarkable, right down to the colours.

    Liked by 2 people

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