Eric Stenbock: The Egg of the Albatross

Northern royal albatross on the Otago Peninsula – from

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…


Marjory Fleming and Isabella

Marjory Fleming – from the 1909 edition of John Brown’s book

Marjory Fleming’s cousin Isabella Keith, a young woman in her early twenties, was in charge of her education from the end of 1809 to the summer of 1811. She showed herself an affectionate and careful teacher, always patient despite Marjory’s unruly behaviour and frequent bursts of anger. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Nathalia Crane: The Poe Cottage

The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, The Bronx, New York City

Around May 1846, Edgar Allan Poe moved in a small and humble cottage in The Bronx, New York City, with his wife Virginia Eliza Clemm and her mother Maria. It would be the last home of the couple. Virginia died of tuberculosis in the cottage’s first floor bedroom on January 30, 1847; then Edgar died in mysterious circumstances in Baltimore on October 7, 1849, while he was travelling back home from Richmond. Upon hearing the news of his death, his mother-in-law Maria moved out of the cottage. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Aleister Crowley: Asmodel

Sulamith Wülfing – Flower (1931) – from Pigtails in Paint

This is a beautiful and strange poem about a loved girl who seems to come from an outer world, maybe from dreams, or from a star, a spiritual bride descending on the bed of the desiring poet, and their mystical union mixes extasy with agony. Both erotic and esoteric, full of hidden meanings, these verses are difficult to interpret. The 1905 edition of the poem states that the title means: One of the “Intelligences” of the Planet Venus. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Lettre de Minou Drouet à sa mère

Roger Hauert – Minou Drouet – dans Poèmes (1956)

Quand René Julliard fit paraître en septembre 1955 une plaquette hors commerce comprenant une sélection de poèmes et de lettres de Minou Drouet, une virulente polémique agita la presse pendant plusieurs mois, principalement sur leur authenticité ; nombreux affirmèrent qu’une enfant de 8 ans ne pouvait pas écrire avec autant de brio et d’intelligence. Plusieurs journaux (dont Elle) affirmèrent qu’il s’agissait d’une imposture, que sa mère (adoptive) était le réel auteur de ces textes. Cette controverse, en particulier ces accusations, heurtèrent profondément Minou. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

John Crowe Ransom: Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter

Robie Macauley - John Crowe Ransom at Kenyon College (1941) - from Wikimedia Commons

Robie Macauley – John Crowe Ransom at Kenyon College (1941) – from Wikimedia Commons

John Crowe Ransom (April 30th, 1888 — July 3rd, 1974) was an American teacher, writer and editor. He is renowned both as a poet and a literary critic. He wrote most of his poems between 1915 and 1927. Together with fifteen other academics and students at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, he founded the group called ‘the Fugitives’ after their magazine The Fugitive (1922–1925). They had a special interest in Modernist poetry, and they published works by Modernist poets, but mainly from the Southern part of the United States of America (the former Confederacy). In 1930, he joined a group of twelve writers who would be called ‘Southern Agrarians’. They denounced industrialism and urbanization, which they saw as an alienating force destroying traditional culture, and they counterposed to it the traditional values of an agarian economy, as it existed in the South before the Civil War. As writes the Poetry Foundation: CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Nicolas Boileau : Amitié Fidèle

Dead girl - from

Dead girl – from

Dans un article d’avril 2015 j’ai présenté un sonnet de Nicolas Boileau, dit aussi Boileau-Despréaux, écrivain et critique français né le 1er novembre 1636 et mort le 13 mars 1711. Celui-ci se lamentait sur la mort d’une parente bien-aimée aux mains d’un charlatan. Je présentais celle-ci comme une petite fille aimée par un adolescent. Or la correspondance de Boileau montre que s’il s’agissait bien d’une amie d’enfance, elle avait cependant à peu près le même âge que lui, et qu’elle mourut à 18 ans. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…