I do not say this as praise of either one or the other. I am only trying to keep things distinct. Voici que, dans la rue, au sortir de sa douche, Le vieux monsieur qu'on sait un magistrat farouche Tient des propos grivois aux filles de douze ans. From this beneficent treatment of the amiable burgess; from this perfectly poetic inclusion of modernity, this unrhetorical inclusion of the factories in the vicinity of Grenelle inclusion quite different from the allegorical presentation of workmen's trousers in sculpture, and the grandiloquent theorizing about the socialistic up-lift or down-pull of smoke and machinery , Tailhade can move to personal satire, a personal satire impersonalized by its glaze and its finish.
Rien ne sort moins de chez Classens Que le linge de ces bramines. But perhaps the most characteristic phase of Tailhade is in his pictures of the bourgeoisie. Here is one depicted with all Tailhadian serenity.
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Note also the opulence of his vocables. La demoiselle a mis un chapeau rouge vif Dont s'honore le bon faiseur de sa commune, Et madame Feyssard, un peu hommasse et brune, Porte une robe loutre avec des reflets d'if. Enfin ils sont assis! All through this introduction I am giving the sort of French poem least likely to have been worn smooth for us; I mean the kind of poem least represented in English.
Landor and Swinburne have, I think, forestalled Tailhade's hellenic poems in our affections. There are also his ballades to be considered. The bulk of Jammes' unsparable poetry is perhaps larger than that of any man still living in France.
Traductions de Jane Austen — Wikipédia
The three first books of poems, and "Le Triomphe de la Vie" containing "Existences," the more than "Spoon River" of France, must contain about six hundred pages worth reading. It is not a series of poems, but the canvass of a whole small town or half city, unique, inimitable and "to the life," full of verve. It may be, in both cases, that the organisms have broken beneath the strain of modern existence. But the artist has no business to break. Il prend garde aux abeilles et bouge ses oreilles; et il porte les pauvres et des sacs remplis d'orge.
The fault is the fault, or danger, which Dante has labeled "muliebria"; of its excess Jammes has since perished. But the poem to the donkey can, in certain moods, please one. In other moods the playful simplicity, at least in excess, is almost infuriating. He runs so close to sentimentalizing—when he does not fall into that puddle—that there are numerous excuses for those who refuse him altogether. Anne" and the decadence is apparent; it is indeed a sort of half-way house between the barbaric Breton religion and the ultimate deliquescence of French Catholicism in Claudel, who as I think it is James Stephens has said "is merely lying on his back kicking his heels in it.
Et l'on chantait: sauvez! Et la procession chantait.
Les drapeaux se penchaient avec leurs devises en or. Des drapeaux se penchaient avec leurs devises en or. Moi je serrais les dents pour ne pas pleurer, et cette fille, je me sentais l'aimer. Si tu existes, Dieu, ne la tue pas, elle avait des mains blanches, de minces bras. Dieu ne la tue pas!
Jammes has also the furniture tendency, and to it we owe several of his quite charming poems. However the strongest impression I get to-day, reading his work in inverse order i. On ne sait pas pourquoi elle rit. Par moments elle crie et cela est percant. On dirait quelquefois qu'elle comprend des choses. Pas toujours. Elle cause tout bas "Oh! Oh weh, soll mir nun nimmermehr hell leuchten durch die Nacht noch weisser denn ein Schnee ihr Leib so wohl gemacht?
Still it is not necessary to be Jammes-crazy to feel. Il va neiger dans quelques jours. Je me souviens de l'an dernier. Je me souviens de mes tristesses au coin du feu. Ce n'est rien. Pourquoi donc pensons-nous et parlons-nous? If I at all rightly understand the words "vouloir chasser les choses que nous savons" they are an excellent warning against the pose of simplicity over-done that has been the end of Maeterlinck, and of how many other poets whose poetic machinery consists in so great part of pretending to know less than they do.
I do not wish to speak in superlatives, but "Existences," if not Jammes' best work, and if not the most important single volume by any living French poet, either of which it well may be, is at any rate indispensable.
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It is one of the first half dozen books that a man wanting to know contemporary French work must in-dulge in. One can not represent it in snippets. Elle va jouer. Benette joue la valse des elfes. La Servante Je ne sais pas. La Servante Un homme. La Servante Je ne sais pas, monsieur. Laissez-moi achever d'achever ces cerises. Je ne vous connais pas. Et puis qu'est-ce que vous voulez?
Le Monsieur Monsieur, ecoutez-moi. De qui, pretendez-vous? Le Monsieur J'habite les environs de Mont-de-Marsan. Le Monsieur Savoir si monsieur serait assez complaisant pour me donner quelque chose. Le Monsieur Oh! Rien monsieur. Je ne vous ferai rien. The troubles of the Larribeau family, Larribeau and the bonne , the visit of the "Comtese de Pentacosa," who is also staved off with ten francs, are all worth quoting.
The whole small town is "Spoon-Rivered" with equal verve. It must not be thought that these very "modern" poets owe their modernity merely to some magic chemical present in the Parisian milieu. Pauvres bouffons que couronne la sauge! A difference with Morris might have arisen, of course, over the now long-discussed question of vers libre, but who are we to dig up that Babylon? The schoolboys' papers of Toulouse had learnt all about it before the old gentlemen of The Century and Harper's had discovered that such things exist.
One will not have understood the French poetry of the last half-century unless one makes allowance for what they call the Gothic as well as the Roman or classic influence. Tailhade in his "Hymne Antique" displays what we would call Swinburnism Greekish. Tristan Klingsor a nom de plume showing definite tendencies exhibits these things a generation nearer to us:.
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I have forgotten the name of the translator, but in excusing the simplicity of Arab songs he says: "The young girl in Germany educated in philosophy in Kant and Hegel, when love comes to her, at once exclaims 'Infinite! The little girl in the tents 'ne savait comparer fors que sa gourmandise. As for the Elskamp phase and cult, I do not make much of it. I may get my conviction as much from his drawings as from his poems.
Notes bibliographiques - Persée
I am not yet clear in my mind about it. His opinion of Max Elskamp can not be too lightly passed over. Et dans leurs mains ces tartines? Dans leurs bouches ces Kouguelofs? Vildrac's "Gloire" is in a way commentary on Romains' Ode to the Crowd; a critique of part, at least, of unanimism.