Archive for the ‘Moonstone Silhouettes’ Category

Paris, Baudelaire, Beckett, Moonstone Silhouettes, the Seine and the Three Graces

January 11, 2009


Paris in December, 2008. Visiting Charles Baudelaire’s grave was paramount. I put my translation of Baudelaire’s poem Landscape on his grave. I covered it with a copy of the cover of my recently-published translation of Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil & Artificial Paradise.

The Flowers of Evil (Translated by R J Dent)


It was a very moving moment, made all the more poignant by the fact that a steady stream of people visited his grave. People came in ones and twos to pay their respects and/or leave offerings. I knew Baudelaire was considered an important literary figure in France, one who is still ignored and derided in England, but I had no idea that he was so revered by the French.

Charles Baudelaire


There are three names on the gravestone, there being just the one stone for the family plot. The name at the top is Jacques Aupick, Baudelaire’s stepfather, a man that Baudelaire hated. Next is Charles Baudelaire’s name. Beneath his name is Caroline Archenbaut Defayes, Baudelaire’s mother, a woman he loved dearly.

Baudelaire should really be in his own grave and have his own gravestone. Either that or a new stone should be cut that puts Charles Baudelaire’s name at the top – after all, he’s the reason that people go to that particular grave.

Charles Baudelaire's grave © 2009 R J Dent archive

In the same cemetery, I found Samuel Beckett’s grave.

Samuel Beckett's grave © 2009 R J Dent Archive


It was simple and unadorned. And no one visited it. It was all very Beckett-ian.

Samuel Beckett


Later that day I walked along the left bank of the Seine, then had coffee and croissants in a riverside café.

Seine (left bank) ©  2009 R J Dent archive


Continuing my theme of pretention, I spent a part of that day proof-reading and editing my latest poetry collection, Moonstone Silhouettes. The collection needed proofing and editing so I took it with me to France, simply so that I would always know that it had been edited in Paris. Now Moonstone Silhouettes will always be tinged with memories of Paris, December 2008.

moonstone silhouettes - r j dent


On another day I went into the Louvre and stood in front of the Three Graces. It’s my favourite sculpture. I found it by accident – having forgotten it was in the Louvre. I was wandering through the less-crowded rooms, trying to avoid the Mona Lisa/Venus de Milo/Da Vinci Code mob – and doing a very good job of it – when I went into a cool, spacious room and almost fell over the Three Graces. There they were – right in front of me – and all three looking quite lovely too. Obviously I wanted to touch them and I did reach out a hand – but at the last minute, sense, or lack of nerve, prevailed and I stood there simply staring in awe at those beautiful stone nymphs.

The Three Graces - Louvre


Obviously there’s a lot more, but that’s all I’m sharing at present. Paris was wonderful, a delightful experience, full of wonders, marvels and deep emotions. Every time I stepped outside in Paris, I could feel the air crackle with the electricity of life.

Paris at night ©  2009 R J Dent archive


Paris is a city for the eternally young. I will go back – and I’ll probably edit and proof-read another book of mine while I’m there. I might even touch the Three Graces. They won’t mind.

Au revoir.


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© R J Dent (2009)

www.rjdent.com


Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil & Artificial Paradise translated by R J Dent is available from:

http://www.amazon.com/Flowers-Artificial-Paradise-Solar-Nocturnal/dp/0979984777/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239004510&sr=1-14

or:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Artificial-Paradise-Solar-Nocturnal/dp/0979984777/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217774414&sr=1-1


Moonstone Silhouettes by R J Dent is available from:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moonstone-Silhouettes-R-J-Dent-ebook/dp/B004MME1GG/ref=la_B0034Q3RD4_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394900815&sr=1-6
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Moonstone Silhouettes

December 25, 2008

Moonstone Silhouettes by R J Dent

This is R J Dent’s latest poetry collection, entitled Moonstone Silhouettes.

R J Dent says: ‘In this collection, which I edited in Paris, I’ve focussed mostly on the ethereal and the mystical, although there are a few elegies for lost friends, and one or two poems in praise of major writers who have influenced me.’

‘The landscapes that I describe range from the exotic (Ancient Greece and modern France) to the bizarre and the out-and-out surreal. The characters that I describe are often strange and other-worldly.’

Included in this new collection are translations of poems by Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Ibycus and Sappho. There are also elegies for four great writers: Jean Genet, Anna Kavan, Charles Baudelaire, and Tarjei Vesaas.

 

Here’s the back cover:

Moonstone Silhouettes - back cover

 

 

And here’s a link to five poems from Moonstone Silhouettes:

http://www.rjdent.com/moonstone.htm

 

R J Dent says: ‘With Moonstone Silhouettes I’ve tried to create a poetry collection in which each poem is a door that opens into another world – hopefully a beautiful world you can enter through the poem and which you can stay in for a while and enjoy – a world where warmth, beauty, joy, laughter, pleasure, happiness and eroticism co-exist peacefully and harmoniously.’

 

Moonstone Silhouettes is available from: 

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moonstone-Silhouettes-ebook/dp/B004MME1GG/ref=la_B0034Q3RD4_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1361655767&sr=1-6

 

or from R J Dent’s office:

 info@rjdent.com

Further  information regarding R J Dent’s book-length translations of Alcaeus, Lautreamont, and Charles Baudelaire is available at: www.rjdent.com

 

Moonstone Silhouettes

Poems by R J Dent

© R J Dent (2013)

 

 

 

www.rjdent.com

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Translating Baudelaire

November 7, 2008

abandoned-city


It is an abandoned city by the sea;
the wide streets are deserted and empty,
the houses hold nothing but silences,
and the pale sun-lit autumn air resounds
with echoes of a strident, vibrant past.


As I walk between ornamental parks
and vast buildings, seeing their perfection,
smelling the sea scents and the rich perfumes,
hearing the faint echoes of then, combined
with the wave rush and shingle drag of now,
I know you are reclining in a fine-
ly furnished room, immaculately dressed
and feeding a cat in between each line.


Translating Baudelaire
© R J Dent (2003 & 2009)


Translating Baudelaire is a much anthologised poem which has appeared in Braquemard, The Colour of Light and Best Poems & Poets 2003. It is included in R J Dent’s new poetry collection, Moonstone Silhouettes.


www.rjdent.com


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