The Murderers Of The Atlantic



The terrible and cynical violence of the murderers of the Atlantic is visible as well in the Conquistadors than in their successors the slave traders. These shocking pages remain an open wound in the soul of sentient beings. Léo Ferré proves it brilliantly. I suggest you read the original poem which is much better than my poor translation.


Madre De Dios

You awful murderers crossing the Atlantic
Crazy slave traders with smeared torsos
Your remorse is light and quiet with your stick.

And fleets of gold that are sleeping far from Europe
Deep in the heart of seas that regrets freeze 
Gently swing their philanthropic yard and rope

While you’re thinking Drowned in the adventure
Of the bellies that you could not violate
The gold bellies of these vessels growing mature

I’ll take that stolen gold in my poetic night 
And I will carve it as it should
Azure bowsprit of blood lyric drawbar all right

Who will devoutly go to Madeleine at last
Better than a singing jewel sounding finger
She will soon bent over the vigourous foremast

You will be my galleon I will be your pirate
And I will approach you at close range
Your thin laces will be a sail to my frigate

Shuddering of love to the sextant of my race
Drawn to sweet eagles of southerly wind
Chained to the azure that is following my trace

O sailors of the Race you stars of robberies
Galleons are plump and you reign
Terribly in the underwater memories

Take the wind eagerly on my boat’s remembrance
Rigged love and the rest of the watch
Full of sky bursting with God and importance

We will write the secret message of Atlantic
These galleons from Spain and other places
Boring bending with gold and with sailors’ epic

And we will throw down there all the curious.


Léo Ferré
translated by Xavier Séguin




You’re stupid and you’re suspicious. ‘Cause you don’t believe me when I tell you that you’re stupid.
Jean-Paul Belmondo