canThe Québécois, how I love thee in this ancient portrait,
Painted in glorious days, when you were a young patriot,
Your voice, with shades of fleurs-de-lis, barely born,
Already stripped of its proud title of canayen: In turn.

The Québécois, who I now see is not at all the same.
Referendums lost have muzzled the tone of his nation,
Forfeiting the clear sound of his greatest aspiration,
When his anthem was taking the shape of a great poem.

Today I compare them and I am sad also. Quandaries!
Voice haloed by independence; Voice overwhelmed by silence,
Shadowed Blue sky of its birth; Red sunset over your existence.
But, mystery of my heart, against the rewards of my worries!
How can I not extract with my faded lips, freely,
From these two portraits, a new promise of liberty?

This is a poem adapted from Nelligan’s poem. I used this poem to describe the two forms of the Quebecois. As a cultural metis, writting in two languages, it’s always interesting to compare both poems in french and in english. They are so much the same but so different…


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