Ernest Dowson: Ad Domnulam Suam

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Irène Cahen d’Anvers (ca 1880) - from neverlostintranslation.wordpress.com

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Irène Cahen d’Anvers (ca 1880) – from neverlostintranslation.wordpress.com

This beautiful poem, whose title means “to his little lady/mistress”, expresses the poet’s love for a young girl, and at the same time a desire to stop before this love could grow too strong. Anyway, the girl will soon leave the “fairy-land” of childhood and grow into adulthood, and this could spell the end of that love’s magic. CONTINUE READING…

Navarana et Peter Freuchen

Le grand amour de Peter Freuchen fut sa première épouse, Navarana, une Inuit du Nord-Groenland. Quand il la rencontra, elle était encore pratiquement une enfant ; dans son livre de 1935, Arctic Adventure : My Life in the Frozen North, et celui édité en 1961 par sa veuve Dagmar, Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Eskimos, il la décrit comme une “petite fille”. Elle s’appelait alors Mequpaluk. CONTINUE READING…

Les personnes âgées et l’amour

Strasbourg Magazine, N° 226, octobre 2011 - extrait de la couverture

Strasbourg Magazine, N° 226, octobre 2011 – extrait de la couverture

Cette photo, extraite de la couverture d’un magazine distribué gratuitement par la municipalité de Strasbourg, montre des enfants âgés de 11 ou 12 ans s’avançant pour donner chacun une fleur à une vieille dame, la gratifiant de son plus beau sourire. L’enthousiasme de ces personnes âgées saute aux yeux. CONTINUE READING…

Childhood nostalgia in Ernest Dowson’s Praeterita

In his lifetime, Ernest Dowson published two volumes of poems, Verses and Decorations. Both are included in The Poems and Prose of Ernest Dowson published by Arthur Symons, available on the web as a Project Gutenberg Ebook; some of these poems are also found in the web page Selected Poems and Prose — Ernest Dowson of The New Formalist. Dowson kept in a drawer a booklet of poems written in his youth, which was published posthumously under the title Poésie Schublade (“drawer poetry” in a mix of French and German); these poems are not widely available on the web, and this is one reason for including some of them in Agapeta. However, they also shine with freshness and evoke nostalgia for childhood, two qualities partially lost in the more polished verses of his maturity. The poem Praeterita (Latin word for “gone” or “dead”) expresses Dowson’s longing for those cherished memories from childhood. CONTINUE READING…

Anal sex, the heteronormative fantasm against heretical love

I recently read an interesting study by Andrew Calimach on the ancient Greek custom of pederasty, the pedagogical and erotic relation between an adult man and an adolescent boy: Pinning Anal Sex on the Greeks — A Millennial Slur. He starts with an ancient libel: Europe’s Judeo-Christian civilization has constantly, under the label of “sodomy”, identified pederasty with anal sex; more specifically it was always pretended that the adult erastes sodomized his young eromenos. He explains that as much as they extolled the love of boys, the Greeks felt an utter contempt for anal sex, which they considered as “hubris”, an abuse of the worst kind. European scholars did not understand this, they interpreted Greek texts reviling anal sex as condemnations of homosexuality, so when one author wrote one text praising boy-love then another one condemning boy’s abuse (anal sex), they though that he had changed his mind (and guess which one of the two was considered wiser). CONTINUE READING…