28.5.09

Lilac


When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed

1

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed,
And the great star early drooped in the western sky in the night,
I mourned, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love. [...]


Walt Whitman

25.5.09

...



Geranium robertianum L., Géranium herbe à robert, Bec de grue, Épingles de la Vierge, Fourchette du diable, Herbe à l'esquinancie, Herbe rouge ...

"Aussi longtemps qu'il existe un endroit où il y a de l'air, du soleil et de l'herbe, on doit avoir regret de ne point y être. (Surtout quand on est jeune.)" Boris Vian, L'Herbe Rouge

21.5.09

La Rêveuse d'Ostende




« La mer du Nord avait des couleurs d'huître, du vert-brun des vagues au blanc nacré de l'écume ; ces teintes altérées aux nuances précieuses, alambiquées, me reposaient de mes éclatants souvenirs de Méditeranée, bleu pur et sable jaune, d'un chromatisme vif aussi primaire qu'un dessin d'enfant. » Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt , "La rêveuse d'Ostende", (Paris, Albin Michel, 2007).

17.5.09

Cadavre exquis par contumace ...


[...] In Paris later I showed Magritte his painting that art dealer Iolas had exchanged with Max for one of his. It was one of those big green apples occupying the whole canavas, and it said, in that careful Magritte script, This is not an apple. One day Max took it up to his studio and painted in the middle of the apple a little barred window with a bird behind the bars. Underneath he wrote in the same nice letters: Ceci n'est pas un Magritte. So when Magritte happened around one day and saw the picture where it hung in the study, my relief flowed free as he laughed gently and walked away. [...]

Dorothea Tanning, Between Lives, (New York, W.W. Norton & Company Ltd, 2001), p.256

12.5.09

Aurea mediocritas



Fugere urbem



Quiconque choisit la règle d'or du juste milieu se préserve, pour sa sécurité, du misérable toit délabré et, dans sa modération, du palais trop envié.



Le pin le plus haut est celui qui est le plus souvent secoué par les vents, les hautes tours sont celles qui s'écroulent le plus lourdement et ce sont les sommets des montagnes que frappe la foudre.

Celui qui a l'âme bien préparée, dans l'adversité, il espère ; dans la prospérité, il craint un sort contraire. Jupiter qui ramène le détestable hiver le chasse aussi.

Il n'est pas dit, si nous vivons actuellement une période difficile, qu'il en sera de même un jour futur. Parfois, de sa cithare, Apollon réveille la Muse silencieuse, il ne tend pas toujours son arc.


Horace, Odes, Livre II, 10

9.5.09

Le Chien Philosophe



L'éducation est sans doute toujours à deux faces : elle consiste, d'une part, à réprimer le mouvement impétueux qui pousse les enfants dans leur ignorance à l'assaut de la vérité ; d'autre part à humilier les enfants pour les amener ensuite peu à peu et insensiblement dans le mensonge.

Franz Kafka, "Les Recherches d'un Chien", in Œuvres Complètes,(Paris, Gallimard, 1984), vol. 2, p. 1228


1.5.09

"The Circus Animals' Desertion "

The Circus Animals' Desertion



I


I sought a theme and sought for it in vain,
I sought it daily for six weeks or so.
Maybe at last, being but a broken man,
I must be satisfied with my heart, although
Winter and summer till old age began
My circus animals were all on show,
Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,
Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.




II

What can I but enumerate old themes,
First that sea-rider Oisin led by the nose
Through three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams,
Vain gaiety, vain battle, vain repose,
Themes of the embittered heart, or so it seems,
That might adorn old songs or courtly shows;
But what cared I that set him on to ride,
I, starved for the bosom of his faery bride.


And then a counter-truth filled out its play,
'The Countess Cathleen' was the name I gave it;
She, pity-crazed, had given her soul away,
But masterful Heaven had intervened to save it.
I thought my dear must her own soul destroy
So did fanaticism and hate enslave it,
And this brought forth a dream and soon enough
This dream itself had all my thought and love.


And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread
Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea;
Heart-mysteries there, and yet when all is said
It was the dream itself enchanted me:
Character isolated by a deed
To engross the present and dominate memory.
Players and painted stage took all my love,
And not those things that they were emblems of.


III

Those masterful images because complete
Grew in pure mind, but out of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.


William Butler Yeats