Page 6 of 10 FirstFirst 12345678910 LastLast
Results 76 to 90 of 149

Thread: Next Book Club Text

  1. #76
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    University or my little estate
    Posts
    2,386
    I got mine

  2. #77
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    University or my little estate
    Posts
    2,386
    Might I suggest we start ?

  3. #78
    Can for me. Why not pick out a shorter poem and then we can pm anybody who is still waiting for the book to be delivered if necessary?

    Shoot, choose a poem.

  4. #79
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Posts
    6,076
    Blog Entries
    78
    Fantoches

    Scaramouche and Pulchinella
    Making evil plans together
    Wave their arms, moon-silhouettes.

    But the excellent Bolognese
    Doctor's picking some of these
    Special herbs among the grass.

    His daughter with the pretty eyes,
    In the arbour, on the sly's
    Looking- semi-naked -for

    Her handsome Spanish buccaneer...

    Excerpt tr. Martin Sorrell
    from the collection: Fêtes galante- Paul Verlaine


    Fantoches

    Scaramouche et Pulcinella,
    Qu'un mauvais dessein rassembla,
    Gesticulent noirs sous la lune,

    Cependant l'excellent docteur Bolonais
    Cueille avec lenteur des simples
    Parmi l'herbe brune.

    Lors sa fille, piquant minois,
    Sous la charmille, en tapinois,
    Se glisse demi-nue,

    En quête de son beau pirate espagnol,
    Dont un langoureux rossignol
    Clame la détresse à tue-tête.


    On the Fête galante:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%AAte_galante

    Fête galante- a French term referring to some of the celebrated pursuits of the idle, rich aristocrats in the 18th century—from 1715 until the 1770s. After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, the aristocrats of the French court abandoned the grandeur of Versailles for the more intimate townhouses of Paris where, elegantly attired, they could play and flirt and put on scenes from the Italian commedia dell'arte. The term translates from French literally as "gallant party". It is closely related to, and may be considered a type of, fête champêtre.

    The Fêtes galantes were most famously illuminated in the paintings of Antoine Watteau, who served as a major source of inspiration for Verlaine:









    The themes of Watteau and Verlaine's Fêtes galante were that of the elegant games and flirtations of youth... always with a tinge of melancholy... a recognition that these moments were ever fleeting.

    Verlaine's poems in this collection were the most elegant and delicate... and yet the same poet could churn out the most vulgar and pornographic scribbles. This collection was especially spoken of when Verlaine was acclaimed as the most "musical" of poets. It's not surprising that his poems were a favorite of the French Impressionist composers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgxaKTNw0hI
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  5. #80
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,368
    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Fantoches

    Scaramouche and Pulchinella
    Making evil plans together
    Wave their arms, moon-silhouettes.

    But the excellent Bolognese
    Doctor's picking some of these
    Special herbs among the grass.

    His daughter with the pretty eyes,
    In the arbour, on the sly's
    Looking- semi-naked -for

    Her handsome Spanish buccaneer...
    Good starting point, stlukes.

    A little bit of context, though, for those with the Oxford editions: the editors cut out a pretty important (but longish) poem that precedes "Fantoches." The previous poem "En Patiant" can be read as a guide to the direction of the collection. It compares the poems progress with that of the seasons. The first two seasons we've already past by the time we get to Fantoches--which is just past midway in the collection. The first two seasons in "En Patiant" are spring and summer: spring is about flirting, summer passionate embrace. Then, moving into the second half of the poem we're warned about autumn:

    But autumn came to our relief,
    Its light grown cold, its gusts grown rough,
    Came to remind us, sharp and brief,
    That we had wantoned long enough,

    And led us quickly to recover
    The elegance demanded of
    Every quite irreproachable lover
    And every seemly lady-love.
    (Translation taken from http://www.archive.org/stream/knaveo...ouoft_djvu.txt). This is the part of the collection that we're supposedly moving into, and, sure enough, the next poem, "Fantoches," shows a return to seemliness and elegance. The love in "Fantoches" is very practiced and artificial. She eludes her restrictive father in the arbor. He's a Spanish buccaneer. A nightingale sings his pain. This is certainly a step back from the more risque poems from the first half of the collection. Now, we've moved into something a little polished--almost trite. This is part of the progress forecasted by the previous poem, "En Patiant."

    Whether we take the poem as a welcome respite from "wanton[ing]" or whether it's interpreted as something else is up for grabs. In any case, I think it's helpful to see the big picture that the collection creates as well as the effect of the individual works. I'll stop by a little later to post more.
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...5&goto=newpost

  6. #81
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Posts
    6,076
    Blog Entries
    78
    Here at Librivox you can listen to any of the poems from Verlaine's collection read in the original French:

    http://librivox.org/fetes-galantes-by-paul-verlaine/

    Quark... good addition. None of the translations I have at my disposal include En patinant yet it surely heightens the notion of the "fleeting" aspects of young love and spring that will soon melt into autumn and winter.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  7. #82
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
    Posts
    4,161
    Blog Entries
    25
    I kind of like that the poem is called puppets, but the puppet show only takes up 1 stanza and is being completely ignored by the party goers described.

    The doctor, obsessed with his work, being easily fooled by his daughter sneaking off with the Spanish buccaneer also seems to imitate the kind of plots that one would expect from the commedia. Seems to me there isn't quite clear a distinction between the puppets, black under the moon (or in silhouette in the translation provided), and the others described.
    Last edited by OrphanPip; 07-18-2010 at 12:17 PM.

  8. #83
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    University or my little estate
    Posts
    2,386
    Scaramouche and Pulchinella
    Making evil plans together
    Wave their arms, moon-silhouettes.

    But the excellent Bolognese
    Doctor's picking some of these
    Special herbs among the grass.

    His daughter with the pretty eyes,
    In the arbour, on the sly's
    Looking- semi-naked -for

    Her handsome Spanish buccaneer...



    I find this poem to have a beautiful charm to it as most of verlaine's poems, I can see why he is considered frances most musical poet.

    This poem also seems to me very satirical, "excellent" Doctor and "making evil plans together", it seems to poke fun at the image which this story would have, in the form of gossip.

    Another thing about the poem is the father is a doctor and the lover a buccaneer.
    The doctor carries connotations of safety, conservatism, wealth. While the buccaneer is exotic adventure and intrigue. The image of the doctor and buccaneer seem juxtaposed directly, showing how the girls seeks in love all that is different to her father and the oppressive household she lives in. It is almost as if she searches love as a means to escape reality, with the doctor representing logic and reality while the buccaneer is fantasy and impossibility.

    Another curious thing is the doctor picking "special herbs" could this have significant meaning, I have a theory here but it is radical and I want to hear your opinions on it first.

    These are just my initial impressions, shall try and say more latter.

    Oh and Quark I see the utility of using verlaine's other poems to help find significance in this, however the order of composition of the poems is unknown, so this poem may have been created before the others you mentioned.

  9. #84
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
    Posts
    4,161
    Blog Entries
    25
    The French describes the herbs as "simples", so I think the implication is that they are medicinal, not the fun kind. Or, the doctor could be some kind of botanist, it's not clear.

    Edit: Checked an online dictionary, simples does mean medicinal plants.
    Last edited by OrphanPip; 07-18-2010 at 12:48 PM.

  10. #85
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Posts
    6,076
    Blog Entries
    78
    Verlaine undoubtedly refers to the Bolognese doctor in recognition that Bologna had been one of the leading centers of science and medicine where Andreas Versalius, the great anatomist, had lectured. One wonders about the suggestion of the doctor... an expert in the body... who is unaware of the passions of the body taking place under his very nose while he is gathering his medicinal herbs.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  11. #86
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,368
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander III View Post
    I see the utility of using verlaine's other poems to help find significance in this, however the order of composition of the poems is unknown, so this poem may have been created before the others you mentioned.
    I'm not entirely sure I understand what you mean, but, yes, it's true that we don't know the order Verlaine composed the poems in. Yet, we do know how they were published in collections. Every edition of these poems I've seen has the poems in the same order, and "Fantoches" follows "En Patiant." The little bit of criticism I've read on the poem points to this order as coming from the author, too. Hallam Walker wrote in PMLA that Verlaine placed the poems in the order we now have them. He said of "Claire de lune": "There is no mistaking the tone or significance of Verlaine placing this poem at the head of the suite" ("Visual and Spatial Imagery in Verlaine's Fetes Galantes"). He goes on to talk about the "significance" also of the position of "En Patiant" and "Fantoches." I suppose the critics could be wrong about the ordering of the poem, and I'm certainly no expert on Verlaine. But, it seems like there's a lot of evidence that the order I referred in my last post is how most people approach the collection.

    The reason I bring this up is because I think the order talked about in "En Patiant" underscores something important going on in "Fantoches": the love life of the poem is enticing, but sterile. "En Patiant" talks about receding away from intimacy and moving toward posturing. "Fantoches" shows what that might look like. The situation in the poem is certainly amorous, but it's also based on stock characters, cliches, and distance. Like so many of the poems in the collection, there's something attractive about the situation, but there's also something worrisome. In the case of "Fantoches," the cleverness of the poem and the soothing melody of the first two stanzas show the attractive side of the poem, but the distance and lack of substance shows the poem's worrisome side. "En Patiant" forewarns of this. That's why I think it matters.
    Last edited by Quark; 07-19-2010 at 01:43 AM.
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...5&goto=newpost

  12. #87
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Fantoches

    Scaramouche and Pulchinella
    Making evil plans together
    Wave their arms, moon-silhouettes.

    But the excellent Bolognese
    Doctor's picking some of these
    Special herbs among the grass.

    His daughter with the pretty eyes,
    In the arbour, on the sly's
    Looking- semi-naked -for

    Her handsome Spanish buccaneer...

    Excerpt tr. Martin Sorrell
    from the collection: Fêtes galante- Paul Verlaine
    There has to be a greater context to this because in and by itself it doesn't seem like much of a poem. I've seen Lit Net poems better than this.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  13. #88
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Posts
    6,076
    Blog Entries
    78
    Of course the context of the poem is within the larger context of the book or collection as a whole. Few of the poems ever exceed 20 lines and are the most delicate of lyrics... song-like. The book reminds me of Robert Herrick's collection, Hesperides, which is a collection of the most delicate and sophisticated of sensual delights. In a like manner they remind me of the shimmer of satin and lace and a little glimpse of leg as might be found in the paintings of the Watteau.

    TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME.

    GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old time is still a-flying :
    And this same flower that smiles to-day
    To-morrow will be dying.
    The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
    The higher he’s a-getting,
    The sooner will his race be run,
    And nearer he’s to setting.
    That age is best which is the first,
    When youth and blood are warmer;
    But being spent, the worse, and worst
    Times still succeed the former.
    Then be not coy, but use your time,
    And while ye may go marry:
    For having lost but once your prime
    You may for ever tarry.

    DELIGHT IN DISORDER.

    A SWEET disorder in the dress
    Kindles in clothes a wantonness :
    A lawn about the shoulders thrown
    Into a fine distraction :
    An erring lace which here and there
    Enthrals the crimson stomacher :
    A cuff neglectful, and thereby
    Ribbons to flow confusedly :
    A winning wave (deserving note)
    In the tempestuous petticoat :
    A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
    I see a wild civility :
    Do more bewitch me than when art
    Is too precise in every part.

    UPON JULIA’S CLOTHES.

    WHENAS in silks my Julia goes,
    Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
    That liquefaction of her clothes.
    Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
    That brave vibration each way free ;
    O how that glittering taketh me !

    Like Verlaine, there is a sense that the pleasures portrayed are something fleeting. There is also the the delicacy of the perfectly chosen word that I somehow doubt is rivaled by Lit Net poets... and this musicality is undoubtedly the reason Verlaine was the most popular poet to set to music by the the contemporary French composers. Of course the individual poems do not bear the complexity of a more lengthy or epic poem and are probably best read as a group.

    Having said that... perhaps we should start with the first, and most famous, poem in the collection, Clair de lune:

    Clair de lune

    Votre âme est un paysage choisi
    Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
    Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
    Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

    Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
    L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
    Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur
    Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

    Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
    Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
    Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
    Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

    From Fêtes galantes (1869)


    Moonlight

    Your soul is like a landscape fantasy,
    Where masks and Bergamasks, in charming wise,
    Strum lutes and dance, just a bit sad to be
    Hidden beneath their fanciful disguise.

    Singing in minor mode of life's largesse
    And all victorious Love, the yet seem quite
    Reluctant to believe their happiness,
    And their song mingles with the pale moonlight.

    The calm, pale moonlight, whose sad beauty, beaming,
    sets the birds softly dreaming in the trees...

    excerpted tr. Norman R. Shapiro
    Complete poem found here: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/853446.html


    Both Debussy and Faure set this poem to music:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mjy3Fw5GJY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zgJR...eature=related

    This poem sets up the entire cycle... suggesting that he imagines his lover's soul to be like the landscape ala Watteau... filled with masquerading characters from the Commedia dell'arte that we will come upon repeatedly in the whole of the collection. The poet also suggests that like the paintings of Watteau, their is a sadness or melancholy beneath the fantastic guise of flirtation, seduction, lutes, satins, lace, and love. Their is a recognition that this is but a fleeting moment... soon lost... and the singers sing of love in a minor key while the fountains sob with ecstasy.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  14. #89
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,368
    I didn't think "Fantoches" was a bad poem. It has a certain smartness about it. It's not going to change your life or anything like that, but it does what it sets out to do. "Claire de lune" is much more representative of the collection, though. Lustful in focus and ambivalent in tone, this is much more of what Fetes Galantes appears to be about.
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...5&goto=newpost

  15. #90
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    University or my little estate
    Posts
    2,386
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    There has to be a greater context to this because in and by itself it doesn't seem like much of a poem. I've seen Lit Net poems better than this.
    From a personal context some poems are preferred over others, but we must remember who Verlaine was and how he used his art, the decadent movement, art for art's sake, there is no higher purpose than the creation of beauty. This theory on art is merely a school of thought of a movement, I personally utterly agree but many shall disagree.

    Nonetheless in this context Fantoches succeeds, in its shortness, it is immensely beautiful and lyrical. Some poetry seeks to nourish the mind, but the poetry of beauty nourishes the soul. Do you kinda get what im talking about ?


    As for the next poem, Il give it a look tonight and share my thoughts.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 86
    Last Post: 01-03-2010, 12:24 PM
  2. Anyone want to help start a teen book club?
    By Drummergal42 in forum General Literature
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 06-09-2008, 09:19 PM
  3. Book club suggestions?
    By JaneEyre1986 in forum General Literature
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-01-2008, 12:07 PM
  4. Text book review section
    By Stanislaw in forum The Literature Network
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-15-2005, 12:04 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •