Weekend Trivia: Saturday

cyn427(z7aN. VA)September 22, 2012

Morning, all. As much as I love fall, I am always a little sad to see summer go. So, here is the first stanza translated into English of Paul Verlaine's poem, Autumn Song:

The long sobs/of the violins/of autumn/Wound my heart/With a monotonous/Languor

And the original which is much better as usual with poetry:

Chanson�d'automne

Les sanglots longs

Des violons

De l'automne

Blessent mon coeur

D'une langueur

Monotone.

The stanza was divided into two parts during WWII to send secret signals. The first three lines warned to prepare for something and the rest announced the actual start of it.

Any ideas? What was the event? Extra points if you know to whom the messages were sent!

Cynthia

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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

I believe it was read on the BBC!! Oui, je sais(my tense is probably wrong!).
And I'll check in later with the intended recipients.

Nancy.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:16AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Well Cyn, you got me this time, I don't have the faintest.

Annette

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:57AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Hmmm, Annette. Well, although the poem refers to autumn, it was broadcast in spring. Does that help?

So far, I have accomplished little today. The pups have sabotaged my plans. I was going to water to make the ground easier to dig, so I can plant the remaining sad shrubs and hostas that have been languishing in their pots. The grandpup loves to keep me company, but I feel I am constantly having lord it over him to keep him out of the gardens! There is no way I want the ground wet since then all the mud gets tracked inside. So far, he is showing remarkable resistance to following my orders! *sigh*. Maybe I will go out front and weed. Maybe I should just clean.

Cynthia

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:38AM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

So the text of the poem doesn't really have any connection to the event, is that right? It was just a prearranged signal, oui?

France, WWII, spring, ... I can think of a really big event. Could it be that? Maybe it was sent to the French Underground.

TM

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:56PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I am thinking of a well known spring battle that included the U.S.

Watering has been needed here as well since the recent rains have been barely a sprinkle. We have frost warnings tonight so will be picking green tomatoes and have brought in most of my brugmansias though have a couple in full bloom that I will cover. Expect nicer temps through next week at least.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 2:32PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Oh dear. Looks like this was too easy or maybe my clues too obvious. :)

Cynthia

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 3:24PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Good clues!! I actually did not know that this was a real poem!! It was the last line that got me, as I always thought it was incongruous....guess I was wrong!!

Nancy.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:56PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

My conjecture is the Battle of Dunkirk.. I'll go along with TM that it was meant for the French underground.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 4:59AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I think the french underground might just be it, the battle???

I'm off to the mainland in a bit so won't be around all day. No.1 son has tickets for 'Jersey Boys' won't be back til later tonight.

Annette

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:50AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Happy first full day of Autumn, friends.

****. For Nancy and TM, I think.
** For Bobbie for knowing the message went to the French Resistance

Nancy is right that the BBC broadcast in French the first three lines to inform the French Resistance that Operation Overlord would begin in two weeks. The lines were broadcast on June 1, 1944. The next three lines broadcast just 45 minutes before midnight on June 5 indicated that D-Day would take place within 48 hours and that the French Resistance should begin sabotage operations. They were to target railroads especially.

Bobbie, I couldn't find any indication that the underground was involved at Dunkirk, but that doesn't mean they weren't, of course! The French army was definitely involved, though!

Thanks for playing everyone. Even though the topic was not completely seasonal, the poem seemed to fit. Hope it was fun and hope your day is again as perfect as a fall day should be!

Cynthia

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:07AM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

Thanks for the stars, Cynthia, and this time I actually did deserve them. It was D-Day I was thinking of, though I didn't know about the poem being broadcast as a signal. I've always had a strong interest in WWII. My dad was overseas in the Navy when I was born, and I can remember as a small boy having nightmares about him going into the shower and having poison gas come out of the showerheads. He was already home by then, but logic doesn't play much part in nightmares.

Great question, Cynthia. Thank you!

TM

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:38AM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Thanks for the stars - sorry I didn't get back. I fell back asleep this am. Just as an fyi, there would not have been a resistance at Dunkirk, as France was just falling. Great question - I loved that movie!! I recently also watched Band of Brothers...missed it first time round cause I didn't want to see 'war' stuff after 9/11.

Nancy - who is finally off to post.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:45AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Thanks, Nancy. That was my thought as well. I have not watched Band of Brothers yet. One of these days...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:53AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Well, I was thinking of D-Day even though I wrote Dunkirk. Too late at night responding and my brain got the battle names confused. Surprised I didn't name another battle as watched a PBS show this week about the English sinking the French fleet . No stars for me there as "I can't see inside your head" as I used to say to my students, "I can only see what you put down."

Technically it was early morning but if I haven't yet gone to bed it is still night to me.

Your question added to my knowledge of that time, Cynthia.

Sorry you had those dreams, TM. What a frightening thing to know about for a very young person.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 1:16PM
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