Paul-Jean Toulet, French poet

Paul-Jean Toulet (1867-1920) was a French poet. Don’t worry : he’s completely forgotten in France.

He wrote a delicious novel called “My Friend Nane”, and also Les Contrerimes, very short poems.

I offer you this one :

The evening coolness — as if filtered through
An emerald — brings your knees together, pressed,
And so you seem less nude. But, entre nous,
Your husband would say: “Just look at how you’re dressed!”

Cette fraîcheur du soir, qu’on dirai que tamise
Une émeraude, a fait se joindre tes genoux,
Et tu sembles moins nue ainsi. Mais entre nous,
Ton mari te dirait: “Comme vous voilà mise.


Toulet is free, and naughty, light, but always a bit melancholic…


Across the night’s hollow,
O sea, you whom I sense quiver
Like the breast of a lover
Turning on her pillow;

The heavy wind strikes the bluff…
What! If the mocking dart
Of a siren is in my heart –
O heart, divine rebuff.

What, no more tears,
Since no one heeds…
Quietly, like a heart that bleeds,
The rain appears.

Ô mer, toi que je sens frémir
À travers la nuit creuse,
Comme le sein d’ une amoureuse
Qui ne peut pas dormir ;

Le vent lourd frappe la falaise…
Quoi ! Si le chant moqueur
D’ une sirène est dans mon coeur-
Ô coeur, divin malaise.

Quoi, plus de larmes, ni d’ avoir
Personne qui vous plaigne…
Tout bas, comme d’ un flanc qui saigne,
Il s’ est mis à pleuvoir.

One more ?

Iris, with her brilliant pall
Lights with seven fires dancing
The gentle rain, advancing,

Ah, on the summer roses
Drape the shimmering train,
And veil, soft rain,
Their arid poses.

And you, whose joyous cries
Concealed such fears
May I at last see tears
Fill your eyes

Iris, à son brillant mouchoir,
De sept feux illumine
La molle averse qui chemine,
Harmonieuse à choir.

Ah, sur les roses de l’ été,
Sois la mouvante robe,
Molle averse, qui me dérobe
Leur aride beauté

Et vous, dont le rire joyeux
M’ a caché tant d’ alarmes,
Puissé-je voir enfin des larmes
Monter jusqu’ à vos yeux.

Iris is the rainbow, of course…


A last one, the best for me :


We lightly touch as I awake

      in the wide, untidy bed;

what faithless dream is in her head

      that has her tremble, shake?

A sharp, thin ray of sunlight burns

      the ceiling like a shard.

Outside, down in the yard

      I hear the scrape of churns.

Dans le lit vaste et dévasté

      J’ ouvre les yeux près d’ elle ;

Je l’ effleure : un songe infidèle

      L’ embrasse à mon côté.

Une lueur tranchante et mince

      Échancre mon plafond.

Très loin, sur le pavé profond,

      J’ entends un seau qui grince…


Thanks for reading!

You can buy me a coffee!









Van Gogh, Hopper : Unknown paintings

I wrote about this already :

The Ravel’s Bolero Syndrome : when you know someone from ONE thing only

You know Ravel’s Bolero but you don’t know Ma Mère l’Oye, or even the splendid piano concertos, right?

I would like to extend it this way.

Think about Hopper, the painter, and you see these, right? :

Think about Van Gogh, and you see :

All this, it’s worn out. Boring. “Yeah yeah yeah”.

But they painted MANY other great things. It’s really cool to explore this, because they are masters. You can also find other doors, like “Hopper inspired images” (in fashion, in photography).

Use Pinterest to find many great things. I let you explore if you want.

Hmmm, what pattern is it here? What does it say? “Hunt. Explore.”

Thanks for reading!



You can buy me a coffee!