By Théophile Gautier
In his ABC of examining, Ezra Pound starts his brief record of nineteenth-century French poets to be studied with Théophile Gautier. generally esteemed by means of figures as different as Charles Baudelaire, the Goncourt brothers, Gustave Flaubert, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and T. S. Eliot, Gautier used to be one of many 19th century’s so much in demand French writers, recognized for his virtuosity, his artistic textures, and his motto “Art for art’s sake.” His paintings is frequently thought of an important hinge among excessive Romanticism—idealistic, sentimental, grandiloquent—and the beginnings of “Parnasse,” with its emotional detachment, plasticity, and impossible to resist surfaces.
His huge physique of verse, even though, is little recognized outdoor France. This beneficiant sampling, anchored by way of the whole Émaux et Camées, might be Gautier’s ideal poetic fulfillment, and together with poems from the vigorously unique España and a number of other early collections, not just succeeds in bringing those poems into English but in addition rediscovers them, renewing them within the technique of translation. Norman Shapiro’s translations were greatly praised for his or her formal integrity, sonic acuity, tonal sensitivities, and total poetic traits, and he employs most of these presents during this assortment. Mining probably the most treasures of the French culture, Shapiro makes an enormous contribution to global letters.
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Additional info for Selected Lyrics (The Margellos World Republic of Letters)
Like sigh of love the bosom raising, The domes, against the waters’ blue, Trace the pure contour of the phrasing, Swelling full, as round breasts will do. I land as my skiff touches ground By a façade of pink; and there, A pillar chaining it around, Next to a rising marble stair... Gondolas, palaces, her nights Of seaborne revels, sweet chagrin... Venice, with all her wild delights, Sings us that song and lives therein. A pizzicato plucked upon A fragile string... ∞Ω 32 Emaux et Camées, 1852–1872 III Carnaval Venise pour le bal s’habille.
10 Emaux et Camées, 1852–1872 LE POEME DE LA FEMME Marbre de Paros Un jour, au doux rêveur qui l’aime, En train de montrer ses trésors, Elle voulut lire un poème, Le poème de son beau corps. D’abord, superbe et triomphante Elle vint en grand apparat, Traînant avec des airs d’infante Un ﬂot de velours nacarat : Telle qu’au rebord de sa loge Elle brille aux Italiens Ecoutant passer son éloge Dans les chants des musiciens. Ensuite, en sa verve d’artiste, Laissant tomber l’épais velours, Dans un nuage de batiste Elle ébaucha ses ﬁers contours.
Against the melody chromatic, Venus, her breast with droplets pearled, Rises up from the Adriatic, Her body pink and white unfurled. Like sigh of love the bosom raising, The domes, against the waters’ blue, Trace the pure contour of the phrasing, Swelling full, as round breasts will do. I land as my skiff touches ground By a façade of pink; and there, A pillar chaining it around, Next to a rising marble stair... Gondolas, palaces, her nights Of seaborne revels, sweet chagrin... Venice, with all her wild delights, Sings us that song and lives therein.