Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ma Fille's French Poesie

Learning and reciting poetry is a big part of the French primary school curriculum at our school. I'm sure it's the same all over.

It teaches children how to plan and study, to memorize and retain information, to read poetry and appreciate the different story-telling that can be done through poems, and it bolsters confidence in public speaking. All that plus, I just like hearing my children recite French poems.

Some of the poems are political, some are enchanting, most deal with death or other heavy subjects made lighter, shown in a simple way.

Last week Ma Fille learned this poem about waiting. When she recited it to us at dinner it made me cry. I couldn't stop myself and when I think of it still, it makes me feel weepy. You all know I am weird like that and strange things like riding a bike along the Canal du Midi can bring a tear to my eye.
{mother and child, both waiting}

The last lines are what got me:
'I'm waiting for a child, says the mother.
I'm waiting for everything, says the child.'

Here she is reciting the original.


J'attends la pluie 
Dit le désert,  
J'attends la paix 
Dit le soldat 
J'attends demain  
Dit aujourd'hui 
J'attends la nuit 
Dit la luciole 
Moi aussi dit l'astronome  
Moi aussi dit l'étoile  
J'attends le vent  
Dit la fleur de pissenlit 
Moi aussi dit l'oiseau 
J'attends mon heure 
Dit le prisonnier 
Moi dit la liberté  
J'attends la paix  
Dit le soldat  
Tu l'as déjà dit 
Je sais dit le soldat 
J'attends un enfant 
Dit la mère 
J'attends tout  
Dit l'enfant

Hubert Mingarell

Next, the children had to write their own version of the poem.

This is Ma Fille's:


J’attends la justice
Dit la guerre
J’attends le soir
Dit le matin
J’attends la réponse
Dit la question
J’attends cent
Dit quatre vingt dix neuf
Moi aussi dit quatre vingt dix huit
Moi aussi dit quatre vingt dix sept  
J’attends le vent
Dit l’arbre
Moi aussi dit la feuille
J’attends mon prince
Dit la princesse
Moi aussi dit la reine
J’attends la justice
Dit la guerre
Tu l’as déjà dit
Je sais dit la guerre
J’attends une cavalière
Dit le cheval
J’attends tout
Dit la cavalière 

Ma Fille 


  1. Lovely! She's got the idea to a T. Well done that girl. :)

    I like them learning poetry too. Some it is quite difficult to learn, they don't make it easy for the kids.

    1. Sarah,
      I think it's nice. And it's good to start young too. We didn't memorize poetry until we were much older and that was too late.
      aidan xo

  2. Aren't kids wonderful! I've shed many tears of joy watching my kids, too.

  3. LOVE it! 97, 98 and 99 made me laugh! Isn't it crazy that our kids are reciting French poetry? Who'd a thunk?

  4. Impressive, Aidan. I love your cute daughter's poem. She is talented, that child of yours :-) This brought back so many memories of my childhood, the homework (Les devoirs,) and hours spent learning Les Fables de la Fontaine and more. I am often told I have an excellent memory and remember details most people forget... Mmm... I wonder if I owe this to my old elementary school teachers? ;-) Bon weekend! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  5. Wow, I think her poem is really fantastic - such creativity!

    1. Thanks! She loves school and it makes her feel proud when I share her stuff here. She's delighted with all of the comments.
      aidan xo

  6. Your daughter's poem is so clever - so wonderful to have young children appreciating poetry and writing so creatively. Have a lovely Pâques!

    1. Happy Easter to you too.
      French school is better than I'd ever hoped.
      aidan xo

  7. I, too, have shed many tears watching and enjoying my children. They are tears of poignancy, and joy. You're right...the poem is beautiful, as is your daughter's version...isn't she lovely?

  8. I love that poem. Aren't we all waiting for everything? How perfect are those words.

  9. Lovely, I loved the video of Mafille... and reposted on my page!/pages/On-the-art-of-learning-French/260028974065186

  10. That is just lovely. It has made me realise how much I miss Ed not having to recite his poems now he is in college.

  11. That was lovely! I remember when my children were small and in school in Aix and they would come home with their little notebooks of poetry that they had to memorize. They never did that in the states. I just loved hearing them recite the verses, especially cause they were doing it in French!

  12. Sans accent! Perfect! :)
    Tell ton fille I love her scarf! x


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