George Gordon Byron: To Ianthe

Drawn by R. Westall and engraved by W. Finden – Lady Charlotte Harley as Ianthe (1833) – from Wikimedia Commons

Lord Byron’s long poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage was published between 1812 and 1818, the first two Cantos in 1812, the third in 1816 and the fourth in 1818, and each edition added some new material. The seventh edition appeared on February 1, 1814, with nine poems added to the twenty already published, and a poem titled “To Ianthe” was prefixed to the First Canto. Written in the autumn of 1812, it was dedicated to Lady Charlotte Harley. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Minou Drouet : Lettres à Lucette Descaves

William-Adolphe Bouguereau – Fardeau Agréable (1895) – from Wikimedia Commons

Vous voulez bien fermer un petit peu vos si jolis rayons de miel sur mes fautes et me laisser vous embrasser parce que je vous aime bien et que votre figure sent mon jardin le matin, et j’embrasse la dame au col blanc.
(Minou Drouet, Lettre à Lucette Descaves, Arbre, mon ami, p. 73)

Dans sa petite enfance, Minou Drouet s’ouvrit au monde grâce à la musique, qui devint sa grande passion. Aussi ses premiers sentiments de type amoureux s’adressèrent à Lucette Descaves, son professeur de piano, qu’elle appelait « mon Amour » et à qui elle écrivit de belles lettres emplies de tendresse. J’ai déjà reproduit dans un précédent article certaines d’entre elles, qui illustraient son univers fait de musique et d’odeurs. Ici je présente des extraits de plusieurs autres lettres, exprimant toute la puissance de la passion qui animait cette petite fille de huit ans. Pleines de poésie, elles font appel à des images frappantes, et certaines contiennent des vers. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Edgar Allan Poe: May Queen Ode

Children doing maypole dancing in the Canungra Showgrounds (ca. 1934) – State Library of Queensland

About April 1836, Harriet Virginia Scott, a schoolgirl in Richmond, asked Edgar Allan Poe to compose a poem for her to recite to the Queen of May. He complied by writing four or five stanzas. About eighty years later (between 1911 and 1917), she remembered one of them and sent it to J. H. Whitty, who published it in the second edition of Complete Poems (1917). CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Aleister Crowley: The May Queen

Children maypole dancing (1900–1910) – State Library of Queensland

Before being devoted to the labour movement, May Day was an old Celtic celebration of spring and fertility, Beltane; throughout the centuries it evolved, with the maypole dancing by girls and the election of the May Queen, but it kept its hidden symbolism of youthful love. Crowley’s poem gives it back its ancient pagan meaning. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…


Poetry by readers, 3rd set

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Jeunes filles lisant (1890-1891) – Los Angeles County Museum of Art (

This is my third post presenting poems published on WordPress blogs by my readers, in other words users who made themselves known to me by following Agapeta, by liking its posts, or commenting them. Indeed, I always have a look at the blog of anyone who follows Agapeta, likes a post, or writes a comment. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Peter Freuchen marries Navarana

Navarana and Peter Freuchen in Thule (1916-1917) - Photo: Arktisk Institut

Navarana and Peter Freuchen in Thule (1916-1917) – Photo: Arktisk Institut

The Danish explorer and ethnologist Peter Freuchen (1886–1957) is famous for exploring the Arctic, in particular with his colleague and friend Knud Rasmussen (1879–1933). He lived many years in North-West Greenland, trading with Inuits, befriending them and adopting their way of life. In 1911 he married an Inuit girl, Navarana. Being born around 1898, she was thus aged approximately 13 at their marriage, while he was 25-year-old. Most biographies avoid mentioning this detail, referring to her as an “Inuit woman”. But in his 1935 book Arctic Adventure: My Life in the Frozen North he first mentions her as a “little girl,” and just after their marriage as “my little wife,” and in the 1961 book Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Eskimos edited by his widow Dagmar, he refers to her as a “little girl, just reaching the marriageable age,” but he also mentions that “Eskimo girls marry so very young that a girl will often continue to play with the other children right up to the time of her first pregnancy.CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…