Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

L’Homme et La Femme (Man and Woman) – Victor Hugo / translated


by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

The famous French poet, Victor Marie Hugo  (1802 – 1885) was a Romantic movement writer. Best known in America as the author of Les Misérables  and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. He also produced more than 4,000 drawings.  I find more beauty in his poems. Here is my version of this original French work and the poem itself.

~ my English translation

MAN AND WOMAN by Victor Hugo

Man is the highest among the creatures.
Woman is the most sublime of ideals.
God made a throne for man;
for Woman an altar.
The throne exalts; the altar sanctifies.

Man is reason. Woman, sentiment.
Reason causes light;
Sentiment produces love.
Light teems with life
While it is Love that revives.

Man champions reasoning.
Woman cannot be conquered through tears.
Reason is linear; tears are parallel.

Man is a potential hero.
Women, a martyr for all causes.
Bravery begets dignity;
Suffering channels it.

Man reigns with authority;
Woman reigns with her choice.
Authority means force,
but choice embodies righteousness.

Man is a genius. Woman, an angel.
Genius is immeasurable;
The angel is not definable.

Man’s aspiration is superlative glory.
Woman’s aspiration is extreme morality.
Glory makes everything colossal:
Virtue makes everything divine.

Man is a systemized code.
Woman, an elaborate letter.
The code orders the world:
The words draw readers to perfection.

Man thinks; Woman dreams.
Thinking is having a pest inside your head;
Dreaming is having a halo in front of it.

Man is an ocean; Woman is a lake.
The ocean has pearl for adornment;
The lake has poetry that dazzles.

Man is the flying bald eagle.
Woman is the singing mockingbird.
Flying dominates the wide open skies;
Singing conquers the single soul.

Man is a temple;
Woman is the Tabernacle.
Facing the temple we find ourselves;
Facing the Tabernacle we give loyalty.

In the end,
Man is stationed where the world ends;
Woman, where the sky begins.

~ original French


L’homme est la plus élevée des créatures ;
La femme est le plus sublime des idéaux.
Dieu a fait pour l’homme un trône ; pour la femme un autel.
Le trône exalte ; l’autel sanctifie.

L’homme est le cerveau ; la femme le coeur.
Le cerveau fabrique la lumière;
le cœur produit l’Amour.
La lumière féconde ; l’Amour ressuscite.

L’homme est fort par la raison ;
La femme est invincible par les larmes.
La raison convainc ; les larmes émeuvent.
L’homme est capable de tous les héroïsmes;
La femme de tous les martyres.
L’héroïsme ennoblit ; le martyre sublime.

L’homme a la suprématie ; la femme la préférence.
La suprématie signifie la force;
La préférence représente le droit.

L’homme est un génie ; la femme un ange.
Le génie est incommensurable ; l’ange indéfinissable.
L’aspiration de l’homme, c’est la suprême gloire;
L’aspiration de la femme, c’est l’extrême vertu.
La gloire fait tout ce qui est grand ; la vertu fait tout ce qui est divin.

L’homme est un Code ; la femme un Evangile.
Le Code corrige ; l’Evangile parfait.
L’homme pense ; la femme songe.
Penser, c’est avoir dans le crâne une larve;
Songer, c’est avoir sur le front une auréole.

L’homme est un océan ; la femme est un lac.
L’Océan a la perle qui orne ; le lac, la poésie qui éclaire.
L’homme est un aigle qui vole ; la femme est le rossignol qui chante.
Voler, c’est dominer l’espace ; chanter, c’est conquérir l’Ame.

L’homme est un Temple ; la femme est le Sanctuaire.
Devant le Temple nous nous découvrons;
devant le Sanctuaire nous nous agenouillons.

Enfin pour finir:
l’homme est placé où finit la terre;
la femme où commence le ciel.

Click here to read this poem in Spanish

Copyright © 1960-2015 Lawrence J. J. Leonard  All rights reserved.

Author: SpindoctorUSA

Read about it here:

11 thoughts on “L’Homme et La Femme (Man and Woman) – Victor Hugo / translated

  1. Hi! Very good success here. Cheers!


  2. This is stellar! Fantastic job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!


  3. You’re wonderful!


  4. Magnifico!


  5. I am facing some of these issues as well… Great post.


  6. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing.


  7. You sound like you know what you’re talking about!


  8. I love your website!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s