THE HEROINE OF FRANCE
They love you and will never forget you,
You have saved France,
O shepherd’s daughter!
But—who else could have done such glorious things?
You vanquished the English barbarians;
You have the admiration of all of France.
Your blond hair hangs about your knees;
It is so beautiful.
You are so well-loved
That even the Archangel Michael came to see you.
The famous think only on you,
And the wicked forget themselves.
Translation of a French-language poem written by Tchaikovsky, age seven, after reading about Joan of Arc in Masson’s Les Enfants célèbres. Thirty years later he would compose the opera The Maid of Orleans based on Schiller’s account of her victories.
In this photograph from 1906:
Pablo Casals, cellist, composer, & Mme Casals (far left)
Léon Blum, French socialist, future prime minister (third from left)
Alfred Cortot, pianist (third from right)
Jacques Thibaud, violinist (far right)
(Archives d’histoire contemporaine, Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po)
Sarabande à 2 violes (Livre I)
Josh Cheatham, viola da gamba
Julien Léonard, viola da gamba
Skip Sempé, harpsichord
French aviator and author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was born June 29, 1900. He was shot down by the Germans in 1944 and killed. His fine novella The Little Prince is still widely read, as are some of his lyrical non-fiction books about flying…
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”