New York Pitch Reviews, Algonkian Writer Conferences, Poetry

Poets, Writers, Author Salon Reviews, New York Pitch Conference, Algonkian Writer Conferences
It is currently 21 Apr 2018, 19:15

All times are UTC + 3 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Camille Claudel
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 00:45 
Offline

Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 11:14
Posts: 667
Revision 2

She watched Debussy like a bird
with a morsel.

I felt hypnotized by the rhythmic
hammers of his piano, the burl wood
bathed my face like candlelight.

When he showed me Camille’s gift,
a sculpture named La Valse---
dancers frozen in a moment of joy;
I felt the electro-magnetism so many
talked about that year.

The couple do not quite touch,
but I thought myself spying on them
in the boudoir; oh, the heat.

The sculpture opened hidden corners
of my heart, I felt a sudden envy,
unable to look away,
or admit jealousy.

That gift never left a display place
in his bedroom. Did I imagine the wild
chestnut fragrance of her clothes?

Debussy was dying of rectal cancer,
and she was also failing.

She stopped bathing, destroyed
her work and became a recluse.
We say des esseinbtes.

A few years passed, Debussy died
and Camille’s mother sent her
to an asylum.

On a whim, I visited Camille.
His name opened her asylum to me
but not to her cell, we never spoke.

I watched her escort a dwarf
and a disabled patient outdoors,
motherly, no longer raging,
no longer angry. Her voice carried
across the courtyard, a metallic
rasp.

She remained locked-up
for thirty years, never working again.
Her beauty wore down like a marble
sculpture outside for years.

And my anger also wore down,
Baudelaire wrote, “Sounds and scents
turn on the evening air"
these words offer a static calm.
I follow the ebb tide of my heart,
swept away and inevitably
swept back.










Revision 1

She never fooled me, we were rivals for Debussy
and at house recitals Camille watched him intent
as a bird with a morsel.

He sang, played out glissando.
I felt hypnotized by the rhythmic hammers
revealed by the open case; my face bathed
in the burl wood of the piano like candlelight.

When he showed me Camille’s gift, a sculpture
named La Valse---dancers frozen in a moment
of joy; I felt the electro-magnetism so many
talked about that year.

The couple do not quite touch, but I thought
myself spying on them in the boudoir;
oh, the heat.

Strangely, the sculpture opened hidden
corners of my heart, I felt a sudden envy,
unable to look away, admitting my jealousy.

Debussy was dying of rectal cancer,
the first man I ever heard mention colostomy;
twisted in pain, he worked every day,
but found time for Camille and sometime me.

Camille’s mood darkened, they say she stopped
bathing, destroyed her work and became
a recluse. Her mother sent her away.

I found several rich patrons, purchased
a comfortable Bois de Boulogne home
and stopped selling my charms.

Debussy always kept Camille's gift
in his bedroom. The years passed quickly,
he weakened, failed. He died. He died.
The years passed, France won a war.

On a whim, I visited Camille. His name
opened her asylum to me, not to her cell,
and we never spoke.

I watched her escort a dwarf
and a disabled patient outdoors, motherly
and no longer full of rage as people said,
no longer angry about any former affair,
like the public one with Rodin. Her voice
carried across the courtyard, a metallic rasp.

She remained locked-up for thirty years,
never working again. Her beauty worn down
like a marble sculpture outside for years.

Baudelaire wrote, “Sounds and scents
turn on the evening air"
and these words offer a static calm.
I follow the ebb tide of my heart,
swept away and inevitably swept back.


Moving photos of her art:

https://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesi ... bussy.html


Notes on her July 20 Rodin retrospective (in English):

http://www.aworldtowin.net/reviews/CamilleClaudel.html


(An excerpt:)

Displayed alongside the early works are some extraordinary documents giving an insight into her wayward character. Claudel summed herself up in an Album of Confessions, dated 16 May 1888:

Your favourite virtue. I haven’t got any: they are all boring.
Your favourite quality in man. to obey his wife
Your favourite qualities in woman. to make her husband angry
Your favourite occupation. doing nothing...

She chose two murderers, Pranzini and Troppmann, as her “real life heroes”. Troppmann had been seized upon by many French novelists as a symbol of the oppressive years of the 2nd Empire.

But it is Claudel’s “favourite heroine in real life” who is the most revealing of her philosophy in life. She selected Displayed alongside the early works are some extraordinary documents giving an insight into her wayward character. Claudel summed herself up in an Album of Confessions, dated 16 May 1888:

Your favourite virtue. I haven’t got any: they are all boring.
Your favourite quality in man. to obey his wife
Your favourite qualities in woman. to make her husband angry
Your favourite occupation. doing nothing...

She chose two murderers, Pranzini and Troppmann, as her “real life heroes”. Troppmann had been seized upon by many French novelists as a symbol of the oppressive years of the 2nd Empire.

But it is Claudel’s “favourite heroine in real life” who is the most revealing of her philosophy in life. She selected Louise Michel, also known as the Red Virgin of Montmartre, a French anarchist who took part in the Paris Commune of 1871. Michel spent 20 months in prison and was sentenced to deportation to New Caledonia, then part of French colonial empire in the Pacific. She took the side of the indigenous Kanaks in their 1878 revolt. Upon Michel’s release and return to Europe, she continued to preach revolution, often addressing mass rallies and conferences in Paris and London. a French anarchist who took part in the Paris Commune of 1871. Michel spent 20 months in prison and was sentenced to deportation to New Caledonia, then part of French colonial empire in the Pacific. She took the side of the indigenous Kanaks in their 1878 revolt. Upon Michel’s release and return to Europe, she continued to preach revolution, often addressing mass rallies and conferences in Paris and London.


Original

They are dead now,
my scribbling can harm no one.

Not Camille Claudel at the asylum,
not Debussy who first spoke of her.

The lawyer worms had got into
his life, he owed 3,600 francs of alimony
according to the newspapers.

On that sum I could stop selling
my charms and retire.

I was not the audience for his music,
but who can dislike Clair de Lune?

I went to the salons for customers,
no need to pretend otherwise.

He sang, played out glissando.
I felt hypnotized by the rhythmic
hammers revealed by the open case;
my face bathed in the burl wood
of the piano like candlelight;

he rapped a glass pane to imitate
the glockenspiel.

Every woman looked twice,
but he was penniless, valuable to me
for the rich people he attracted.

When he showed me Camille’s gift,
her sculpture of La Valse---
dancers frozen in a moment of joy;
I felt the electro-magnetism so many
talked about that year.

The couple do not quite touch,
but I thought myself spying on them
in the boudoir; oh, the heat.

Debussy was dying of rectal cancer,
the first man I ever heard mention
the word colostomy; twisted in pain,
yet he worked, smoked and talked;
he said Camille’s mother sent her away
and would not allow her home again.

I determined to visit Claudel
when the war years made it possible.

His name opened the grounds to me,
but not to her cell and we never met.

At exercise time, I watched her escort
a dwarf and a disabled patient outdoors.
she was motherly and no longer seemed
to rage over Rodin---we never spoke
but I disliked him on her behalf.

She remained locked-up for thirty years.
The beauty I saw in photographs
worn down like a marble sculpture
outside for years, her speaking
voice rasping and metallic
when she came closer, but protected
by a warder I could not speak to her.

The war ended, Gabrielle Dupont,
a Debussy lover for ten years
and the daughter of my tailor at Lisieux
fired a shot at him, Gaby of green eyes
we called her;

Lilly Texier, another disappointed lover
shot a bullet into her own chest to lodge
there for life.

Baudelaire wrote, “Sounds and scents
turn on the evening air"
and these words offer a static calm.
I follow the ebb tide of my heart,
swept away and inevitably swept back.





https://news.artnet.com/market/camille- ... on-1163672


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Camille Claudel
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 05:43 
Offline

Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57
Posts: 1276
 
Hi bernie,

Wonderful to see Camille Claudel resurface, like a form freed from Carrara marble - last time was circa mid eighties - the movie & bi

Camille Claudel - Rodin's Mistress & Muse


Thanks for November 2017 link - I wasn't aware of that significant event - now I haven't missed it.

^^ maybe the resurgence in the 80's was instrumental in the auction of 2017?



I cannot decode who is the speaker in the poem


She is in the league with the great creators:

With the heart of Hugo
the heat of Van Gogh
and the divinity of Michelangelo:

Mademoiselle Camille Claudel

Also akin to Emily Brontë - a prodigal-provincial-protégé - courageous to follow faithfully her muse



"I follow the ebb tide of my heart,
swept away and inevitably swept back."

^^ verbal echo of the sculpture La Valse-


8)

Michael (MV)

 

 
 
 
 


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Camille Claudel
PostPosted: 15 Mar 2018, 22:03 
Offline

Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03
Posts: 599
It's such a beautiful poem. It just needs to come together more. The feeling between Debussy and Camille needs to be made clearer....take this lovely stanza and extend it so the narrator understands that the romantic relationship between Debussy and Camille is reflected in this sculpture.

The couple do not quite touch,
but I thought myself spying on them
in the boudoir; oh, the heat.

Let the reader know why that relationship means so much to the narrator. Then that grand, great closing line will leave us swept away as well.

Take out the mention of Gabrielle Dupont and Lilly Texier...they don't fit into the flow of the poem.

So many gorgeous lines here, as well...the burl, the candlelight, the marble sculpture left outside in the weather....

Bob


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Camille Claudel
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2018, 09:35 
Offline

Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03
Posts: 599
This version is steering in the right direction. The focus is clearer, the focus being the narrator's relation to Camille. Of course that relationship is keyed by Debussy's choice of companion.

Take out "admitting my jealousy"...it's redundant. Cut the stanza "I found several rich patrons...". We want to feel empathy towards the narrator. This stanza makes us feel less inclined to do so.

I really like this stanza:
he remained locked-up for thirty years,
never working again. Her beauty worn down
like a marble sculpture outside for years.

But maybe hint or add that not just her beauty had been worn down but now our narrator's previous sentiments, envy, resentment, whatever...

I would also consider working in more feelings the narrator has had for Camille...envy, yes, but anger, intimidation, resentment....? Something other than just envy....it will help the closing line work more forcefully. Also, throw in a scent or two of Camille...maybe in Camille's bedroom, the narrator sensing Camille's scent, even though it isn't there? I'm referring to this stanza:

Debussy always kept Camille's gift
in his bedroom.

However the stanza itself is wordy.

Debussy always kept Camille's gift
in his bedroom. The years passed quickly,
he weakened, failed. He died. He died.
The years passed, France won a war.

Just let us know he died, and that time has passed....

I would take away the reference to Rodin...sure, he was huge in Camille's story but we're seeing the world through the narrator's eyes...her world turns on her relationship to Debussy and Camille...let's keep it there.

Just some thoughts....best


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Camille Claudel
PostPosted: 19 Mar 2018, 21:53 
Offline

Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 11:14
Posts: 667
Bob---


double, is it triple duty? in any case, i l have closely studied your comments and attempted to edit this pom accordingly.


many thanks.


bernie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Camille Claudel
PostPosted: 20 Mar 2018, 01:53 
Offline

Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03
Posts: 599
Yes!!!!! This is gorgeous. You nail the landing with the changes you have made throughout the poem. Let the poem sit for a few days, and then comb through it for any possible refinements. I love what you have here... wow


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Camille Claudel
PostPosted: 20 Mar 2018, 19:47 
Offline

Joined: 23 Mar 2014, 11:27
Posts: 434
Camille Claude is unknown to me. I love the poem, though.

_________________
meenas17


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 3 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group