André Breton : Écoute au coquillage

Léopold Morice – Fillette à la coquille, Pont Alexandre III, Paris, France (de Wikimedia Commons)

J’ai expliqué précédemment qu’André Breton ne croyait pas aux capacités des enfants, il nia d’emblée que Minou Drouet eut pu écrire ses poèmes à 8 ans, et j’ai présenté un de ses rêves où des fillettes apparaissent infantiles et d’une certaine façon effrayantes.

Probablement la seule fillette qu’il aima fut sa propre fille Aube. Dans son livre L’amour fou il relate sa rencontre avec Jacqueline Lamba le 29 mai 1934, dans un climat étrange de prémonitions et de symboles. Les deux tombèrent follement amoureux et se marièrent le 14 août. Leur fille Aube naquit le 20 décembre 1935, et Breton s’attacha à son enfant. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

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The Despot, by Joseph Ashby-Sterry

William-Adolphe Bouguereau – Repos dans les récoltes (1865) – from Wikimedia Commons

I present today my third and last selection from The River Rhymer. Near a river, at haytime in the sunny summer, a young girl captivates the poet, who remains at her feet. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Eric Stenbock: Sonnet II

SergiyKrykun – Eric Stenbock – from DeviantArt

I have chosen the following love poem from Stenbock’s collection Myrtle, Rue and Cypress, recently reprinted by S N Books World (Delhi, India) from a 1992 Hermitage Books reprinting of the original Hatchards 1883 edition. The Latin subtitle is inspired by the starting verse of the Canticle of Canticles of Solomon in the Bible: “Osculetur me osculo oris sui quia meliora sunt ubera tua vino,” which translates as “Let her kiss me with the kiss of her mouth; for thy breasts are better than wine.” The first two verses indeed follow it, replacing “breasts” by “love” (since the beloved was probably a boy). CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Un rêve d’André Breton

Toyen – Portrait d’André Breton (1950)

André Breton ne fit jamais grand cas des enfants et de leurs capacités. Quand il cherchait un poète ou un artiste, c’était un homme, éventuellement une femme, jamais un enfant. Ainsi quand parurent les premiers poèmes de Minou Drouet, âgée de 8 ans, il proclama d’emblée, sans prendre la peine d’enquêter sur les faits, qu’il était impossible qu’une enfant de cet âge pût écrire par elle-même ces poèmes. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Eric Stenbock: The Egg of the Albatross

Northern royal albatross on the Otago Peninsula – from travel.nine.com.au

This is the 300th post of Agapeta, and I will present here something very special.

Eric Stenbock published in 1894 a collection of 7 short studies, Studies of Death, subtitled Romantic Tales. As indicated by the title, most of these stories are macabre, ending in the death of some protagonists. For a hundred years this book was quite forgotten, and almost unobtainable, until the Durtro publishing house republished it in 1996, adding to it the short story “The Other Side: A Breton Legend,” which had originally been published separately in The Spirit Lamp (Vol. IV, No. 2 June 1893). CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Drifting Down, by Joseph Ashby-Sterry

Harry Furniss – Joseph Ashy-Sterry (c.1910) -from NPG

The poems in Boudoir Ballads have shown the unending love of Ashby-Sterry for young girls. But the poet had another passion: rivers, boats and rowing. In 1913 he published The River Rhymer, a collection of verses on this topic.

Some of his poems combine both passions, telling about a young girl loved on a river, and indeed there were a few in Boudoir Ballads. I have selected three love poems from The River Rhymer, here is the first one. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Eric Stenbock: Drinking song

Eric Stenbock -from Strange Flowers on WordPress

Count Eric Stenbock is a lesser-known ‘Decadent’ writer. In his short lifetime, he published three short collections of poetry, Love, Sleep & Dreams (1881), Myrtle, Rue and Cypress (1883) and The Shadow of Death (1894), a collection of short stories, Studies of Death (1894), and a separate short story, “The Other Side: A Breton Legend,” in The Spirit Lamp (Vol. IV, No. 2 June 1893). CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…