La Salle à Manger
The Dining Room
Il y a une armoire à peine luisante
There is a barely glossy cupboard
qui a entendu les voix de mes grand-tantes
that has heard the voices of my great aunts
qui a entendu la voix de mon grand-père,
that has heard the voice of my grandfather
qui a entendu la voix de mon père.
that has heard the voice of my father.
À ces souvenirs l’armoire est fidèle.
The cupboard is faithful to these memories.
On a tort de croire qu’elle ne sait que se taire,
It is wrong to believe that it can only be silent
car je cause avec elle.
because I chat with it.
This is the first verse of a poem called La Salle à Manger, by Francis Jammes (1868 - 1938).
The poet sees the pieces of antique furniture in his dining room as if they are loyal relatives who have been in the family for generations.
Here, he talks about the cupboard and the voices and conversations it has heard. It is not just a piece of inanimate wood.