Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cinq vièrges hurluberlues

Hurluberlues? Well, that's what it said in French when I tried to track down the five virgins from Matthew, the subject of today's reflection in church, and specifically "The Five Virgins," a poem by Thomas Merton.

You can read about them here, in "Bridesmaids Revisited," by Susan Ryder, who tastefully avoids any reference to the recent film Bridesmaids. (Unlike me.) The text of the poem (in English) is there, too.

However, Merton's bridesmaids (aka virgins, but the word for "virgin" back then pretty much meant "young woman" or "maiden," and hence quite a bit of confusion ever after) do arrive at the wedding on motor-scooters, with burned-out motors, having run out of gas.

In Matthew they had run out of oil for their lamps.

In Merton, these gals knew how to dance, so they were asked to stay!

Et voilà: il y avait
Cinq vièrges hurluberlues
Sans pétrole
Mais bien engagées
Dans le mouvement.

You've got to have bridesmaids at a wedding! Especially hurluberlues ones--"foolish" or "scatterbrained." 

If it must be known, I am 1) not a virgin 2) quite hurluberlue.


seana said...

Wait a minute, I can't find the link to the poem!

Merton's one of mine, although I admit to reading more of his prose than his poetry. I took a class on him in college from a couple of young men not much older than myself a long, long, long time ago, and I have to say it was a formative experience for everybody in it.

Kathleen said...


You could not find it due
To Bloggere hurluberlue!

It's there now!

Collagemama said...

I am reminded of Aesop's Grasshopper and Ant, and that I should fill up with gas on the way to work. I enjoyed Susan's reflection.

seana said...

Thank you. Loved it. And love that Merton felt free to 'take liberties with the parable.

Anonymous said...

such a playful liberty you extend!

Hannah Stephenson said...

This word cracks me up: hurluberlue.

Hurluberlue. It gets funnier the more you say it. Please write a poem about this word???

I made up a word for tomorrow's poem (but my brain was halfway convinced it was a real word).

Kathleen said...

It cracks me up, too. I think it is what it says. I don't have a poem for it yet, but I did include it in the next blog entry. Up now!