In Between, a poem

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IN BETWEEN

It’s cold but warm
we walk
next to trees next to fields
My father tells me calmly
in a normal tone
he worries sick about his life
as there’s a woman
at home
(she’s fiery, insolent)
who does not exist
Not my mum
It’s day but dark, gnawing
Let’s have a walk, dad
together
in silence, but our steps
and a dog endlessly barks
muffled from a farm we don’t see
and the weeping of one lost bird
invisibly weeping but maybe just telling
something ordinary
It’s cold, but warm
I let dad think she’s real I listen
He tells me about
this unknown person
she’s strong and he feels unhappy, defenseless
he has to obey
I hum I whisper we walk
I let him I listen I watch around
we turn here now
on the mud, almost dry
along block of black trees
and in the distance colors in horizontal shades
cut immobile clouds
It’s cold, but warm
There, a first house
the village!
Let’s go home, dad
I take his arm in the dark, we’re on the road
We follow the street along
windows glimmer
Before the door he stops
and stares at my eyes

“Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn” – Efforts & Arts : watching Fellini’s movies

I’m in the process of watching all Fellini‘s movies, therefore, like in every great artist’s career, I detect “eras”, changes, evolution, attempts.

Of course I keep piling books and articles about the guy’s work, which needs to be explored, explained, viewed, considered…

I finished La Dolce Vita – I admit I had to cut it in three parts; the movie is very long (3 hours), very unusual. It becomes too long, or too Italianistically talkative.

Themes : quitting travelings, sisters, corteges, seashores, the sound of the wind, camera stares, but also invisible frontiers between the dreams and reality, hidden coincidences (Mastroianni “can’t hear” from the helicopter at the beginning, and can’t hear the young lady’s message, on the beach at the end – it’s a double door), artificialism, the use of light, the “choreographic” movements at key moments…

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It’s enthralling to read about these movies, from interpretations to replacing this one in a path-career, to how it’s been received at the time. Deciphering (or not).

And then : watching how Fellini pushes levers, shifts and sticks. Going further. 8 1/2 looks like a maze, a game : spleen, creation, disillusions. You don’t understand anything, and yet it’s dazzling, sumptuous!

If you go further, you can be lost. But you can try though…

Fellini hated the character of Casanova. Thus he chose D. Sutherland (which is not the idea of Casanova you have), and makes a movie like a terrible necklace of weird scenes. It’s exaggerated, seedy, outrageous, artificial, decadent. This it’s not easy AT ALL to watch it!

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Three examples as a path into… difficulties, but pleasure. Films complicated, fascinating, which make you think and wonder, or fight – and let your full of questions.

Like after important dreams, right?

 

That leads to the idea of “Efforts & Art”. Why should one make an effort to watch a movie? Why not? Do we have to be seduced, or not? At what level? What do we dig here?

What’s that pair, dancing : Brilliant / Complex? Why contradictory?

If Fellini is a Picasso of movies, who’s the writer? Proust? And the poet? Mallarmé?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Here are 2 Picasso portraits, for no reason :

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The Clown Chastised

Eyes, lakes of my simple passion to be reborn
Other than as the actor who gestures with his hand
As with a pen, and evokes the foul soot of the lamps,
Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn.

With legs and arms a limpid treacherous swimmer
With endless leaps, disowning the sickness
Hamlet! It’s as if I began to build in the ocean depths
A thousand tombs: to vanish still virgin there.

Mirthful gold of a cymbal beaten with fists,
The sun all at once strikes the pure nakedness
That breathed itself out of my coolness of nacre,

Rancid night of the skin, when you swept over me,
Not knowing, ungrateful one, that it was, this make-up,
My whole anointing, drowned in ice-water perfidy.

LE PITRE CHATIÉ

Yeux, lacs avec ma simple ivresse de renaître
Autre que l’histrion qui du geste évoquais
Comme plume la suie ignoble des quinquets,
J’ai troué dans le mur de toile une fenêtre.

De ma jambe et des bras limpide nageur traître,
À bonds multipliés, reniant le mauvais
Hamlet! c’est comme si dans l’onde j’innovais
Mille sépulcres pour y vierge disparaître.

Hilare or de cymbale à des poings irrité,
Tout à coup le soleil frappe la nudité
Qui pure s’exhala dans ma fraîcheur de nacre,

Rance nuit de la peau quand sur moi vous passiez,
Ne sachant pas, ingrat! que c’était tout mon sacre,
Ce fard noyé dans l’eau perfide des glaciers.

(Mallarmé)

Sea/Snow/Sky and their French friends

I opened a book about Proust and found this : “Le temps n’est pas passé sur le hall du Grand Hôtel de Cabourg au bout duquel on voit, par la porte-fenêtre, la mer”.

“Time has not passed on the hall of the Grand Hotel of Cabourg after which one sees, through the French door, the sea”.

Obviously, the author made a tracking shot for the eye, from the hall to the large window then the sea…

In French, “la mer” arrives deliciously at the end of the phrase, opening it to the vast sky. As you know, words have a genre in French, the sea is a she

I said to myself that “la mer” sounds opened and grand and clear, a bit unlike “the sea”, which brakes a lot with its “S” – “Sea” sounds to me like a solid string.

Then I thought about the snow. Snow sounds GREAT for fallen, thick snow. But when it flies from the sky in magic light meandering flakes, I prefer the French one : La neige !

Sky” is great for the sky. It sounds big and clear. The French word is “le ciel“… it’s more pale…

Pépite is greater than nugget. L’Or is brighter than gold. But wood is good, it’s sounds like wood. We say “bois“, alright. Some other words are cool in both languages : l’acier (steel), both are solid and almost blazing, right?

 

Of course, this means nothing. I touch here the infinite, fractal and subtle differences between your native language and the learned one. I can get the words, but I can’t really get their radioactivity, or tiny ones, through movies and conversations.

What do I see on this picture? Curtains/Rideaux. Plates/Assiettes. Clouds/Nuages. Candles/Bougies.

Candle makes me see the flame. Bougie makes me feel the wax. Ahhh it’s complicated!!

 

Thanks for reading!

(and sorry for my bad English)

 

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“Two Birds”, and other “long-range laconic details”

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I took this picture, then, back home, I opened it on my Macintosh and discovered the two birds, which came as a little miracle. I thought the picture was good (roofs/landscape, the light, the funny road), but it became cool because of these two guys, right?

One could call this “small impressive things”. Borgès called it “long-range laconic details”…

We have in France an idiom for this, le je-ne-sais-quoi (“the I-don’t-know-what”), the little thing that can make something magic, and also can spoil everything. One philosopher even wrote a book about this “almost nothing” (V. Jankelevitch, Le je-ne-sais-quoi et le presque rien).

No doubt he was fond of music, which is almost a wizardry on this topic (thinking about unexpected (or hidden) dissonances or modulations).

It can blossom in many discreet things, purposed mistakes or strange seeds.

This is important in Arts, where perfection is often boring.

“Beautiful books are written in a kind of foreign language”, says Proust.

In a poem, a single word can be strangely placed (or repeated, like in Gertrud Stein’s, “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”) and a sensation appears :

“Now listen! I’m no fool. I know that in daily life we don’t go around saying ‘is a … is a … is a …’ Yes, I’m no fool; but I think that in that line the rose is red for the first time in English poetry for a hundred years.”.

It can be a single phrase in a whole song. The example of J. Denver :

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia
Mountain mamma, take me home
Country roads

Seems a simple song about nostalgia, but hidden in the song you find “Driving down the road I get a feeling/That I should have been home yesterday”, which colors it differently, right?

“Everything that goes wrong… goes right” is one cool secret.

Details, games of subtleties, purposed mistakes, flakes of gold, unexpected elements, all are “je-ne-sais-quoi”s which put the audience into a state I love.

Thanks for reading!

AUSTRALIA. Sydney. Hunter st, city centre. 2002
Trente Parke
  1. Strangeization Tool & Eyebrow Criteria
  2. Intentional Maladjustments & Braiding Assessments
  3. Wes Anderson, Edouard Manet and modernity
  4. The “Brushstroke Pattern” & Progress in Arts : Offering Awareness

Ideas on Seeds

A seed waits – or awaits

Beyond the seed, what awaits?

The one who plants a seed is not necessarily the one who watches it grow

A seed is a proposition

A seed has power

The power of possible

A seed waits, but has no will

An interesting state

Being there

Waiting for the proper moment

Ready but not waiting

A seed has to meet a soil

A seed establishes contact with the soil

A seed is hidden, it’s ready to unfold

A seed has a start moment

Inside the seed is not a tree, but the idea of it

Or plans & maps?

when you plant too many in one area : struggle fights death

A seed needs space, tending, help, water, care, focus

But maybe not that much

Water & light

There’s a push, inside a seed

If you find a seed you don’t know what’s inside

Mutation – from a seed to a tree, a flower

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Passages of Valéry – from prose to verse; from speech to song; from walking to dancing

Paul Valéry plays :

The passage from prose to verse; from speech to song; from walking to dancing.
Le passage de la prose au vers; de la parole au chant; de la marche à la danse.

He found a structure, this “passage”. What is it, an elevation? Probably, right?

He notices something :

The purpose of dance is not to transport me from here to there.

The person who organizes or triggers the passage from 1 to 2 has obviously a will. A will for?

Speech tells details about things, it parcels out things, it labels things. A song adds a freedom-movement, brings other reasons for words, and make them mobile. As does poetry.

Dancing, poems, songs : all are rushing to feed a fire. What fire?

Let’s come back to the passage :

from prose to verse; from speech to song; from walking to dancing

It’s a tool. From A to B, bringing this, quitting that.

Where could we apply it? To other universes? Teaching? Photography?

What about meta? What would be the passage from prose to verse to (up again)?

Thanks for reading!

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E.E. Cummings : “the poem her belly marched through me as…

the poem her belly marched through me as
one army.   From her nostrils to her feet

she smelled of silence.   The inspired cleat

of her glad leg pulled into a sole mass
my separate lusts
her hair was like a gas
evil to feel.   Unwieldy….

the bloodbeat
in her fierce laziness tried to repeat
a trick of syncopation Europe has

—. One day i felt a mountain touch me where
I stood (maybe nine miles off).   It was spring

sun-stirring.   sweetly to the mangling air
muchness of buds mattered.   a valley spilled
its tickling river in my eyes,
the killed

world wriggled like a twitched string.

E.E. Cummings
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Baudelaire poem : “Be quiet and more discreet…

Meditation

Be quiet and more discreet, O my Grief.
You cried out for the Evening; even now it falls:
A gloomy atmosphere envelops the city,
Bringing peace to some, anxiety to others.

While the vulgar herd of mortals, under the scourge
Of Pleasure, that merciless torturer,
Goes to gather remorse in the servile festival,
My Grief, give me your hand; come this way

Far from them. See the dead years in old-fashioned gowns
Lean over the balconies of heaven;
Smiling Regret rise from the depths of the waters;

The dying Sun fall asleep beneath an arch, and
Listen, darling, to the soft footfalls of the Night
That trails off to the East like a long winding-sheet.

C. Baudelaire

 

I found many other translations on the web. You can have fun for a moment with the “translation choices” problem…

The title itself is a mess : Recueillement is contemplation, meditation, recollection, it contains “closure with myself alone” and remembrance, immobility.

“Sois sage, ô my douleur”. Douleur? It’s pain. But it can be, I agree, grief, or sorrow, or despair. But I’d say “pain”…

This poem is about a guy to try to calm down his pain, felt as a little person he knows very very well. Trying maybe to distract her, to… tame her?

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Recueillement

Sois sage, ô ma Douleur, et tiens-toi plus tranquille.
Tu réclamais le Soir ; il descend ; le voici :
Une atmosphère obscure enveloppe la ville,
Aux uns portant la paix, aux autres le souci.

Pendant que des mortels la multitude vile,
Sous le fouet du Plaisir, ce bourreau sans merci,
Va cueillir des remords dans la fête servile,
Ma douleur, donne-moi la main ; viens par ici,

Loin d’eux. Vois se pencher les défuntes Années,
Sur les balcons du ciel, en robes surannées ;
Surgir du fond des eaux le Regret souriant ;

Le Soleil moribond s’endormir sous une arche,
Et, comme un long linceul traînant à l’Orient,
Entends, ma chère, entends la douce Nuit qui marche.

Baudelaire poem : “A port is a delightful place of rest for a…

The Port

A port is a delightful place of rest for a soul weary of life’s battles. The vastness of the sky, the mobile architecture of the clouds, the changing coloration of the sea, the twinkling of the lights, are a prism marvelously fit to amuse the eyes without ever tiring them. The slender shapes of the ships with their complicated rigging, to which the surge lends harmonious oscillations, serve to sustain within the soul the taste for rhythm and beauty. Also, and above all, for the man who no longer possesses either curiosity or ambition, there is a kind of mysterious and aristocratic pleasure in contemplating, while lying on the belvedere or resting his elbows on the jetty-head, all these movements of men who are leaving and men who are returning, of those who still have the strength to will, the desire to travel or to enrich themselves.

Charles Baudelaire

LE PORT

Un port est un séjour charmant pour une âme fatiguée des luttes de la vie. L’ampleur du ciel, l’architecture mobile des nuages, les colorations changeantes de la mer, le scintillement des phares, sont un prisme merveilleusement propre à amuser les yeux sans jamais les lasser. Les formes élancées des navires, au gréement compliqué, auxquels la houle imprime des oscillations harmonieuses, servent à entretenir dans l’âme le goût du rythme et de la beauté. Et puis, surtout, il y a une sorte de plaisir mystérieux et aristocratique pour celui qui n’a plus ni curiosité ni ambition, à contempler, couché dans le belvédère ou accoudé sur le môle, tous ces mouvements de ceux qui partent et de ceux qui reviennent, de ceux qui ont encore la force de vouloir, le désir de voyager ou de s’enrichir.

Baudelaire, Petits Poèmes en Prose

How to translate Mallarmé’s poem Apparition in English and realize…

There are maybe four great French poets of this time : Verlaine, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and… Mallarmé.

Mallarmé’s poetry is haughty, “learned”, puzzling, abstract. Thus, it’s a game for the poetry lover – and impossible to translate properly!

Here’s the end of Apparition :

Qui jadis, sur mes beaux sommeils d’enfant gâté
Passait, laissant toujours de ses mains mal fermées
Neiger de blancs bouquets d’étoiles parfumées.

I found this translation :

Who, in the blissful dreams of my happy childhood
Used to hover above me sprinkling from her gentle hands
Snow-white clusters of perfumed stars.

Okey, but no… It should be more like…

Who, long ago, along my spoiled child lovely sleeps
Was passing, always letting, from her improperly closed hands,
Snow some bouquets white of perfumed stars.

As always, translation poetry is a mess, and with this guy it’s worse, because… even in French we’re not sure!

  • Enfant gâté means spoiled child, but it’s ALSO a positive happy thing, it can be “overly happy childhood” (mmmh maybe it’s the same in English?).
  • And here, sprinkling sounds wrong to me. She doesn’t “sprinkle”, but, as her hands are “mal fermées” (“incompletely closed”, but on purpose, right?), she from her hands lets perfumed stars… snow.
  • The color white must be placed after the word in French : “un bouquet blanc”. If you put it before, you sound “poetic”, which made me write “a bouquet white”. How does it sound?

Ahhh, have fun, thanks for reading!

I added Mallarmé painted by Manet, his friend – who could perfectly paint him academically, but chose, I suppose, to show something else…

Apparition

La lune s’attristait. Des séraphins en pleurs
Rêvant, l’archet aux doigts, dans le calme des fleurs
Vaporeuses, tiraient de mourantes violes
De blancs sanglots glissant sur l’azur des corolles.
— C’était le jour béni de ton premier baiser.
Ma songerie aimant à me martyriser
S’enivrait savamment du parfum de tristesse
Que même sans regret et sans déboire laisse
La cueillaison d’un Rêve au coeur qui l’a cueilli.
J’errais donc, l’oeil rivé sur le pavé vieilli
Quand avec du soleil aux cheveux, dans la rue
Et dans le soir, tu m’es en riant apparue
Et j’ai cru voir la fée au chapeau de clarté
Qui jadis sur mes beaux sommeils d’enfant gâté
Passait, laissant toujours de ses mains mal fermées
Neiger de blancs bouquets d’étoiles parfumées.

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Chinese Poetry : “When the water-clock sounds…

When the water-clock sounds three times, I realize it’s midnight
Lovely wind and cold moonlight everywhere in pine and bamboo,

we sit here in perfect idleness, empty and still, saying nothing :
just two people in the shadows of a medicine tree, just two people.

Meng Chiao

 

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The Art of Unfinished Art

If you explore books, quotes, articles about Art, you always meet the concept of “finished/unfinished“.

And this is what you find :

ONE

A whole lot of “simple” authors who seem to have common sense and think Art is like a normal part of society. They all say that a piece of Art must be finished :

  • “Never show unfinished work.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  • “Behind unfinished art cries an unfinished artist.” – Terri Guillemets
  • “Finish the work, otherwise an unfinished work will finish you.” ― Amit Kalantri
  • “I know the sag of the unfinished poem. And I know the release of the poem that is finished.” – Mary Oliver

This sounds very good, right? It’s very satisfying. Everything must be finished, otherwise the world goes to chaos…

TWO

Another whole lot of artists, of course, say the contrary. Suddenly it becomes interesting :

  • “I always believed that my work should be unfinished in the sense that I encourage people to add their creativity to it, either conceptually or physically.” – Yoko Ono
  • “When I’m playing, I’m never through. It’s unfinished. I like to find a place to leave for someone else to finish it. That’s where the high comes in.” – Miles Davis
  • “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  • Put your energy into ‘finishing’ – and you’re missing your next great painting. (J.R. Baldini)
  • In talking about the necessity to finish a thing, we said American painters finish a thing that looks unfinished, and the French, they finish it. I have seen Matisses that were more unfinished and yet more finished than any American painters. Matisse was obviously in a terrific emotion at the time and he was more unfinished than finished. (William Baziotes)
  • I don’t like finished things, because finished is over, dead. (Norbert Bisky)
  • To the impressionist, the work was finished, no matter how casual the execution, when the idea was completely realized on the canvas. (Richard J. Boyle)
  • How do you complete a painting, really? There are paintings by so many different artists that are interesting precisely because they haven’t really been completed. (Peter Doig)

 

Many masterpieces are unfinished : symphonies and cathedrals, Proust “La Recherche”, but most of modernity artists and thinkers know that finishing a work is killing it, it masks the work, the soul…

I found dozens more quotes. Each one could lead to an article…

What do you think?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Cf Non Finito : Inchoateness in Art

 

 

“I spy… with my little eye… an anted ant & a dotless ladybug…”

I spy…

with my little eye…

 

an anted ant & a dotless ladybug,

a thoughtful dragonfly,

a cannon & an adorable farmer,

and a splendid rose, who’s alone…

 

Ant on leg is like a part of her other – henceforth, they’re one, forever.

Ladybug is one of her kind : her dots are in her mind.

Cannon has wheels, moves, loves and will protect headscarfed lady.

Dragonfly likes the soft clouds, today – she smiles and flies to the sky!

Rose doesn’t watch the grey wall neither the death around : she is happy and all pretty.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

JP

 

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John Glenday, Scottish Poet

…Hush now, not another word.
Look! High over the frozen roofs,
my answer hangs and falls, that six-fingered star.

 

 

I read somewhere that John Glenday is “a poet who combines the everyday and the transcendent”.

Also : “he accepts that some subjects are negatively charged, are defined by their indefinability and cannot be named directly”.

Makes me think about Bergson, the philosopher, who says there are 2 ways to know something : Analysis is “turning around” the thing, it gives you a map, but Intuition is about “entering” it, it’s the only way to “feel” what is the thing.

And Barthes I posted a few days ago : an internal agitation, an excitement, a certain labor too, the pressure of the unspeakable which wants to be spoken.

I also found this : “He spoke about a self-confessed lack of imagination, it being a ‘terrible burden for a poet because it means you actually have to start looking at things.’

And this : “a can of peaches waiting for the invention of the tin-opener.”

(which means so much, right?)

 

Thanks for reading. Have a nice day!

JP

 

 

A DIFFICULT COLOUR

Think of it this way:
imagine a sea voyage. You have drawn

the boat up on the shingle for the night.
The water is barely luminous.

Someone points into the gloom. On the far hill
they are burning crofts.

The rain comes on again, but softly,
to preserve the sanctity of desecration.

You stand watching the reflections
tremble upon the water.

It’s that sort of colour.

 

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when he gave us everything

and told us nothing.

Love Poem by John Glenday

You see
it’s neither pride, nor gravity but love
that pulls us back down to the world.

The soul makes a thousand crossings, the heart, just one.

– John Glenday, 2009

(found in the great Sally Mann’s book : A Thousand Crossings)

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