Monday, August 16, 2010

A Life of Longing and Laforgue - at

In honor of the big day today (the 150th Birthday of Jules Laforgue) the folks at the fabulous Bay Area Film site, are running a piece that I wrote which is essentially the prologue to my film project, Grandement Triste.

Here's an excerpt:
A lifelong engagement which could even be said to supersede our commitments to friends, family, and lovers. That is how I would characterize our relationships with those certain special touchstone writers and artists whose work shapes our own sense of self, connects us via eloquent craft to the truths we hold most deeply.

My verging on Talmudic analysis of Jules Laforgue has been just this kind of lifetime connection. He is always there. Anchor, compass point, North Star of my soul-searching and angst. Even if I have now outgrown some aspects of my original attachment to him, he remains a central muse and inspiration for me.
Please go read the rest HERE.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A birthday translation in honor of Laforgue's 150th

Tomorrow — Monday, August 16th, 2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jules Laforgue. But how to celebrate?

In honor of the occasion I decided to run a Google Translation of one of my favorite obscure Laforgue poems, "Berceuse d'automne" (it is very similar to a much later poem of his called "L'Hiver qui vient").

Because of his unusual poetic constructions there seem to be really wide variations in the English translations of Laforgue. Here is the English translation from Google which is actually pretty enjoyable (original French is below):

Autumn Lullaby
It's autumn, autumn, there is one near the fire. Farewell powerful sun, green leaves, blue sky! The rain beats the window and the wind A hoarse moan at length his monotonous song, O toilets in April, the joy of life, farewell. It is only near the fire, listen the rain And sometimes we'll see aside the curtain if the sky is still daubed with soot, if the street is always full of puddles And we sit back , you're bored, you get bored. O despair of the wind in the large wood Rolling yellowed leaves in whirlwinds of dirty, and love letters and nest debris, Carry the beautiful days in your long bursts, the winter is forever, everything is over Finish.

Berceuse d'automne
C'est l'automne, l'automne, on est seul pres du feu. Adieu soleil puissant, feuilles vertes, ciel bleu! L'averse bat la vitre et le vent s'epoumone A gemir longuement sa chanson monotone, O toilettes d'avril, bonheur de vivre, adieu. On est seul pres du feu, on ecoute la pluie, Et parfois l'on va voir ecartant le rideau Si le ciel est encor badigeonne de suie, Si la rue est toujours pleine de flaques d'eau Et l'on revient s'asseoir, on s'ennuie, on s'ennuie. O desespoir du vent dans le grand bois jauni Roulant par tourbillons des feuilles mortes sales, Et des lettres d'amour et des debris de nid, Emporte les beaux jours dans tes longues rafales, C'est l'hiver a jamais, tout est fini, fini.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Grandement Triste: The Film

Creative projects have creative origins — through the process of writing this blog and sharing some of my passion for Jules Laforgue with the world, I have recently realized that I am officially in development on a personal documentary about Laforgue and about my pilgrimage to his birthplace (in Montevideo, Uruguay). The film is called, fortuitously, Grandement Triste.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

150th Anniversary of the Birth of Jules Laforgue

This coming August 16th is the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Jules Laforgue. Please be sure to celebrate the day accordingly. Stay tuned for some special postings to the Jules Laforgue Appreciation Society page in honor of this notable occasion and be sure to RSVP to the official Facebook Event for the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Jules Laforgue — so everyone will know that you'll be reading poetry or participating in some other appropriate activity on this very special day.