by Jules Verne (1828 – 1905)
Le ciel est noir,
Et le soleil se traîne
À peine !
Ma pauvre âme incertaine
Est pleine !
La blonde enfant se rit de mes tendres chansons,
Et sur son coeur l’hiver promène ses glaçons !
Ton amour qui fait vivre
Et j’ai bravé
Pour te voir, pour te suivre
Hélas ! sous mes baisers et leur douce chaleur,
Je n’ai pu dissiper les neiges de ton coeur !
Ah ! que demain
À ton âme convienne
Et que ma main
La tienne !
Le soleil brillera là-haut dans notre ciel,
Et de ton coeur l’amour forcera le dégel !
by Jules Verne
Translation by N. D’Anvers
Dark is the sky,
The sun sinks wearily;
My trembling heart, with sorrow filled,
My sweet child at my songs is smiling still,
While at his tender heart the icicles lie chill.
Child of my dreams!
Thy love doth cheer me;
The cruel biting frost I brave
But to be near thee!
Ah me, Ah me, could these hot tears of mine
But melt the icicles around that heart of thine!
Could we once more
Meet heart to heart,
Thy little hands close clasped in mine,
No more to part.
Then on thy chill heart rays from heaven above
Should fall, and softly melt it with the warmth of love!
Giant squid and its even larger counterpart in terms of mass, the colossal squid, inhabit a wide range of north Atlantic oceans and areas around New Zealand, places where deep shelfs form in the ocean. Due to its tendency to live and feed in the deepest parts of the ocean, the number of intact specimens in recorded history still remains under 200, but reports of giant squid sightings have occurred for thousands of years, capturing the imagination of story tellers for centuries. As a child I remember watching the movie 20,000 leagues under the sea multiple times and being fascinated by the scene with the giant squid. I wonder if Verne was inspired by Tennyson’s sonnet?
Jules Verne’s remarkable imagination predicted technologies that didn’t exist during his lifetime. The fictional submarine Nautillus, functions much like a nuclear powered submarine does today, in that it could roam the oceans for vast periods of time, the 20,000 leagues in the title a reference not to the depth reached, but the distance covered without surfacing. Verne became enamored with submarines during the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris, where he was able to examine a model of the French submarine Plongeur which had been commission in 1863. I wonder what Verne would think of the current spat between Australia, the United States and France over submarine technologies?
Verne in many ways invented the science fiction genre, setting his novels in the second half of the 20th Century to account for the technology that didn’t exist at the time he was writing. His novels Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872) Verne’s novels have remained popular and profitable in many different languages, ranking him as the third most translated author since 1979, only behind Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. Do you have a favorite Jules Verne novel or movie adapted from his fiction?
by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.