À Mademoiselle de Saint-S***, par Choderlos de Laclos

Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Attribué à Alexandre Kucharski – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (1786)

Pierre Ambroise François Choderlos de Laclos (1741–1803) combina une carrière d’officier avec une d’écrivain, et il reste surtout connu pour son fameux roman épistolaire, Les Liaisons dangereuses, paru en 1782. Cependant il composa aussi des poèmes, dont un recueil fut publié en 1908 par Arthur Symons et Louis Thomas. La majorité de ceux-ci traitent de l’amour, souvent sur un ton badin, voire licencieux. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Nathalia Crane, love and poetry at nine

Nathalia Crane
Nathalia Crane (1924) – from The Janitor’s Boy, and Other Poems, via Wikimedia Commons

I will present here another girl poet who, like her contemporaries Hilda Conkling and Sabine Sicaud and the next generation’s Minou Drouet, started writing poetry at a very young age. But unlike Hilda Conkling and Minou Drouet, she did not give up poetry in her teenage years, and unlike Sabine Sicaud who died from a horrible disease at age 15, she lived for 85 years, writing poems and novels, also working as a professor of English at San Diego State University. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

William Carlos Williams: The Ogre

Morton Bartlett
Morton Bartlett

The Puerto Rican-American physician William Carlos Williams (1883–1963), while practising both paediatrics and general medicine in a hospital, had at the same time a full literary career, writing short stories, poems, plays, novels, critical essays, an autobiography, translations and correspondence. He is remembered mostly for his poetry, whose style evolved from imagism to modernism. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

The wretched little girl in De Quincey’s Confessions

Frank Holl - Faces in the Fire
Frank Holl – Faces in the Fire (1867) – The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford

The English writer Thomas Penson De Quincey (b. August 15, 1785; d. December 8, 1859) knew fame with his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, published anonymously in two parts in the September and October 1821 issues of the London Magazine, then released in book form in 1822. In 1845, De Quincey published Suspiria de Profundis, advertised as being a sequel to the Confessions. Then in 1856 he revised his Confessions, which became much longer. Since then, the two are usually published together, their complete titles being Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Being an Extract from the Life of a Scholar, and Suspiria de Profundis: Being a Sequel to the “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.” CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

The May Queen, by Aleister Crowley

Children maypole dancing
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…

Le chant du cœur de Minou Drouet

Roger Hauert - Minou Drouet
Roger Hauert – Minou Drouet – dans Poèmes (1956)

Mon cœur est un immense clavier dont les mots sont les touches, et ma tendresse et ma peine et ma passion de la musique y jouent pour moi. Ce n’est pas de ce clavier-là que je rêve, c’est de celui de ma forêt.
— Minou Drouet, Lettre à Élise Nat, Arbre, mon ami, p. 99

Minou (Marie-Noëlle) Drouet, née le 24 juillet 1947, connut un immense succès dans la deuxième moitié des années 1950 grâce à ses poèmes écrits entre ses six et douze ans. Elle fut également l’objet de violentes controverses dans les médias et les milieux littéraires. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…