Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poetry Sunday (04-18-10 edition)

I was introduced to a portion of this poem in a recent book Best Bet by Laura Pedersen. I googled it to see it in its entirety, and found it to be one of the most beautiful poems I've recently read. The Penguin book of French poetry: 1820-1950: with prose translations by William Rees says of the poet Anna de Noailles:
Anna de Noailles was an aristocrat, beautiful and gifted and a central figure in Parisian artistic life, admired and cultivated by Proust, Valery, Rostand, Cocteau and others.

She was a woman of strong passions and unapologetic sensuality, expressed concretely in a neo-Romantic and technically orthodox verse that renews from the feminine point of view the century-old themes of love and loss, God in Nature, solitude and the passage of time...

There is a pagan intensity in her response to her life and anticipation of death, and her commitment of her entire self to poetry excuses a certain verbosity.

I will press myself with such force against life, with an embrace so fierce and a grip so tight, that before the sweetness of the day is stolen away from me it will be warmed by my entwining arms.

The sea, spread abundantly over the world, will hold, in the wandering journey of its waters, the taste of my pain which is sour and salt and rolls like a ship on the shifting days.

I will leave of myself in the fold of the hills the warmth of my eyes which have seen them in blossom, and the cicada perched on the branches of the thornbush will be resonant with the piercing cry of my longing.

In the spring fields the fresh greenery and the tufted grass at the ditches' edge will feel, throbbing and elusive like wings, the ghosts of my hands which pressed them down so strongly.

Nature which was my joy and my domain will breathe in the air my unceasing fervour, and on the prostration of human sadness I will leave the unique configuration of my heart.

1 comment:

Maggie May said...

'unique configuration of my heart' i love that