René Depestre (Jacmel 1926)

Haitian writer. After having been imprisoned in his country of birth for political reasons, he opts for exile. For over thirty years now, he has pursued his literary career in Lézignan-Corbières. He won the Prix Renaudot in 1988 for his novel Hadriana in my Dreams.

Un vin seigneur des Corbières
Originaire d’une vendange joyeuse,
en fût de chêne, le vin vieillit en beauté
au château de Philippe Quintilla.
Ce vin rafraîchit les étés,
il rend chaudes les nuits d’hiver.
À Lézignan, il est châtelain des Corbières.
Il est seigneur du Cers et du Marin.
Quant à la langue, il parle occitan et français :
son pouvoir de rêve et de tendresse
est une fête et de l’esprit du corps.
Lézignan-Corbières, 2006 René Depestre, Poèmes inédits, in Rage de vivre, 2006
 
A stately wine from the Corbières
Born from a joyous harvest,
In oak casks, the wine ripens in beauty
In the château of Philippe Quintilla.
This wine cools down the summers,
It heats up the winter nights.
In Lézignan, it reigns over the Corbières.
It is the lord of the Cers and Marin winds.
Linguistically, it speaks both Occitan and French:
Its power, both in dreams and in tenderness,
Is a celebration and a body’s pure spirit.
 
Lézignan-Corbières, 2006 René Depestre, Poèmes inédits, in Rage de vivre, 2006