Two Poems by Pierre Louÿs
|November 28, 2012|
The Tomb of the Naïads
I walked through the frost-encrusted wood; my hair blossomed with tiny icicles before my mouth and my sandals were heavy with soiled and caked-up snow.
He said to me: “What do you seek?”–”I follow the tracks of the satyr. His little cleft foot-prints alternate like holes in a snow-white robe.” He said tome: “The satyrs are dead.
“The satyrs, and the nymphs also. For thirty years there has not been so terrible a winter. The tracks you see are those of a goat. But stay here, here is their tomb.”
And with the iron of his hoe he broke the ice of the spring in which the naïads were wont to laugh of yore. He took some of the great frozen chunks, and, raising them to the pale heavens, looked through them.
The Mad Embrace
Love me, not with smiles and flutes or plaited flowers, but with your heart and tears, as I adore you with my bosom and my sobs.
When your breasts alternate with mine, when I feel your very life touching my own, when your knees rise up behind me, my panting mouth no longer even knows the way to yours.
Clasp me as I clasp you! See, the lamp has just gone out, we toss about in the night; but I press your moving body and I hear your ceaseless plaint…
Moan! moan! moan! oh, woman! Eros drags us now in heavy pain. You’ll suffer less upon this bed in bringing forth a child than you’ll agonize in bringing forth your love.
Poems first published in The Songs of Bilitis, 1926. Illustrations by Willy Pogany
About the Author:
Pierre Louÿs (December 10, 1870 – June 6, 1925) was a French poet and writer.
Inherent Vice’s Two Directions
The jokes certainly strike one as sophomoric and the latter one as clichéd, further below Pynchon’s intelligence than one would like to think he would stoop, at least in print. Discounting them and moving on, or throwing the book across the room as Parker half implies we should do, however, would be to lose sight of “that high magic to low puns”.
Auden, Larkin and Love
I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb” contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”
Plato, Our Comrade?
Not surprisingly, there have already been critics of Badiou’s translation. The first is that his translation breaks the formal rules of translation to such a degree that the original meaning of the text has lost its significance. But this critique is inadequate at face value because Badiou’s hyper-translation is forthright in its intention of taking Plato’s concepts and modifying them into his own lexicon.
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On the occasion of his mother’s eightieth birthday, Dante Gabriel Rossetti gave her a hand-made artwork featuring his poem “The Sonnet.” In the first line of this present he also gave to English poetry a “deathless” (because almost irrefutable) definition of the sonnet form — though the rest of the poem is an already dated pastiche of tired diction, worn-out registers, and exhausted metaphors.