Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Joys of Lesbian Lit

A few poems of Renée Vivien (a much cooler and prettier name than Pauline Mary Tarn)

Your Strange Hair

Your strange hair, cold light,
Has pale glows and blond dullness;
Your gaze has the blue of ether and waves;
Your gown has the chill of the breeze and the woods.

I burn the whiteness of your fingers with kisses.
The night air spreads the dust from many worlds.
Still I don't know anymore, in the heart of those deep nights,
How to see you with the passion of yesterday.

The moon grazed you with a slanted glow ...
It was terrible, like prophetic lightning
Revealing the hideous below your beauty.

I saw-as one sees a flower fade-
On your mouth, like summer auroras,
The withered smile of an old whore.

The Touch

The trees have kept some lingering sun in their branches,
Veiled like a woman, evoking another time,
The twilight passes, weeping. My fingers climb,
Trembling, provocative, the line of your haunches.

My ingenious fingers wait when they have found
The petal flesh beneath the robe they part.
How curious, complex, the touch, this subtle art--
As the dream of fragrance, the miracle of sound.

I follow slowly the graceful contours of your hips,
The curves of your shoulders, your neck, your upappeased breasts.
In your white voluptuousness my desire rests,
Swooning, refusing itself the kisses of your lips

Prolong the Night

Prolong the night, Goddess who sets us aflame!
Hold back from us the golden-sandalled dawn!
Already on the sea the first faint gleam
Of day is coming on.

Sleeping under your veils, protect us yet,
Having forgotten the cruelty day may give!
The wine of darkness, wine of the stars let
Overwhelm us with love!

Since no one knows what dawn will come,
Bearing the dismal future with its sorrows
In its hands, we tremble at full day, our dream
Fears all tomorrows.

Oh! keeping our hands on our still-closed eyes,
Let us vainly recall the joys that take flight!
Goddess who delights in the ruin of the rose,
Prolong the night!

Let the Dead Bury their Dead

Voici la nuit : je vais ensevelir mes morts,
Mes songes, mes désirs, mes douleurs, mes remords,
Tout le passé... je vais ensevelir mes morts.

J'ensevelis, parmi les sombres violettes,
Tes yeux, tes mains, ton front et tes lèvres muettes,
Ô toi qui dors parmi les sombres violettes !

J'emporte cet éclair dernier de ton regard...
Dans le choc de la vie et le heurt du hasard,
J'emporte ainsi la paix de ton dernier regard.

Je couvrirai d'encens, de roses et de roses,
La pâle chevelure et les paupières closes
D'un amour dont l'ardeur mourut parmi les roses.

Que s'élève vers moi l'âme froide des morts,
Abolissant en moi les craintes, les remords,
Et m'apportant la paix souriante des morts !

Que j'obtienne, dans un grand lit de violettes,
Cette immuable paix d'éternités muettes
Où meurt jusqu'à l'odeur des douces violettes !

Que se reflète, au fond de mon calme regard,
Un vaste crépuscule immobile et blafard !
Que diminue enfin l'ardeur de mon regard !
Mais que j'emporte aussi le souvenir des roses,
Lorsqu'on viendra poser sur mes paupières closes
Les lotus et les lys, les roses et les roses ! ...

(I really need to keep up with my French study. If you're more knowledgable than I here's a list of her works in French)

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