An anthology of Belgian symbolist poets by Donald Flanell Friedman, Donald Flanell Friedman

By Donald Flanell Friedman, Donald Flanell Friedman

Initially released in 1992, this bilingual anthology represents the vigour, range, and originality with which the Symbolist circulate used to be grafted in Belgium. Cultivating an aesthetics of hallucination and spatial paradigms of the interior international, the fin de siècle Belgian poets reworked the canal towns and landscapes in their native land into lasting magnets of the mind's eye. The Belgian Symbolist poems are vessels of passage to visionary geographical regions, demonstrating the permeability of internal and outer truth

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Donald Flanell Friedman: Belgian Symbolism, an Anthology page 13 Georges Rodenbach “La vieille église rêve . ” from Le Miroir du Ciel Natal La vieille église rêve en un vaste silence; La ville morte, avec sa tristesse, est autour; On en sent, comme d’un malade, la présence, Et tout est assombri par l’ombre de la tour. Il règne dans les nefs un jour de demi-deuil; On entend, au dehors, pleurer les hirondelles; Seuls les vitraux d’azur gardent un peu d’orgueil; Et la Vierge pâlit dans ses vieilles dentelles.

A swan, forewarned, sings on the black water . . It must be the City that is dying This evening . . The streetlamps weep! “The Night is alone, like a beggar . ” from The Mirror of the Native Sky The Night is alone, like a beggar. The streetlamps offer Their yellow flame As alms. The night is as quiet as a locked church. The melancholy streetlamps Open their rose flame, Bright bouquets of light, Bouquets under glass, the holy relics That fill the Night with plenary Indulgence. page 20 Donald Flanell Friedman: Belgian Symbolism, an Anthology page 21 Georges Rodenbach Sans doute que la Ville empire Ce soir?

Il règne dans les nefs un jour de demi-deuil; On entend, au dehors, pleurer les hirondelles; Seuls les vitraux d’azur gardent un peu d’orgueil; Et la Vierge pâlit dans ses vieilles dentelles. Tout est âgé, tout s’appauvrit; les hauts piliers Semblent les troncs, veufs de rameaux, d’une futaie; On sent une lointaine et vague odeur de plaie; Est-ce qu’un crucifix se mettrait à saigner? Ah! cette maladive odeur de vieille église, Fade, mais sensuelle, et qui fait qu’on défaille: Lys, crèches de Noël dont se fane la paille, Encens irrésolu qui meurt dans l’ombre grise; Vin d’or évaporé des burettes, bougies Dont la souffrance aura racheté nos péchés; Et tant d’odeurs encor: les nappes défraîchies Et les voiles de noce aux bouquets d’orangers.

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