Heavenly Girl

Aleksandra Waliszewska – from Frank T. Zumbachs Mysterious World

Agapeta is today 4 years old, and this is its 315th post. Readers come and go, and things have been quiet lately: few likes and comments, and almost no troll. For instance, the number of daily views dropped during the last 40 days of 2018, and rose again at the beginning of 2019.

From April 2017 to June 2018, the posting frequency was one article every 5 days; in July 2018 it slightly slowed down to one every 6 days. Since the beginning of 2019, it has decreased further to one every 8 days, and I cannot guarantee to maintain any fixed frequency in the future. Indeed, I have nearly exhausted all relevant material I knew about, and it becomes ever more difficult to find works by other authors, artists and musicians fitting the topics of Agapeta. Unfortunately, I got only a small number of useful suggestions from readers. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

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Adam Zagajewski: Vermeer’s Little Girl

Johannes Vermeer – Meisje met de parel / Girl with a pearl earring (c.1665) – from Mauritshuis via Wikimedia Commons

Adam Zagajewski (born in 1945) is a famous Polish poet, essayist, novelist and translator. In his youth, he became well-known as one of the leading poets of the “Generation of ’68” or “New Wave” writers in Poland, and throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s he supported through his writings the opposition to the Polish regime. Later he took some distance from politics and his writings assumed an increasingly philosophical and existential nature. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Robert Herrick: To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Alfredo Rodriguez – At the rose garden – from alfredoartist.com

Robert Herrick (1591–1674) was an English poet and cleric who lived through the Stuart dynasty, then the civil war and finally the Restoration. In 1648 he published Hesperides: Or, The Works Both Humane & Divine, a huge collection of poetry, to which he appended a shorter collection of religious poems, His Noble Numbers: Or, His Pious Pieces, apparently dated 1647; together, they make over 1400 poems. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Poetic Eros

Odilon Redon – The birth of Venus (1912) – from WikiArt

In the post “Components of Love” I presented the three types of love and friendship according to the ancient Greeks:

  • Eros is sexual love, generally driven by beauty; it is discriminating and it can be versatile, blooming or withering fast.
  • Storge is natural love, as it exists between members of a family, or the love of parents for children; contrarily to eros, it is unconditional and long-lasting, and it grows slowly.
  • Philia is friendship, generally within a group, mediated by activities shared in common; it includes also philanthropy and humanitarian work.

The ancient Greeks also used the word agape for affection and tenderness, similar to storge. Then in Christianity, this word evolved to mean a purely spiritual, selfless and undemanding love embracing all humanity; in fact, such an ideal love is extremely rare in real human beings. 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…

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…