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Stéphane Mallarmé

(1842-1898 / France)

Quotations

  • ''Alas, the flesh is weary, and I've read all the books.''
    Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French symbolist poet. Poésies (1887). Brise Marine, st. 1, Mallarmé: The Poems, trans. by and ed. Keith Bosley (1977).
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  • ''Will lovely, lively, virginal today
    Shatter for us with a wing's drunken blow
    This hard, forgotten lake haunted in snow
    By the sheer ice of flocks not flown away!''
    Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French symbolist poet. Poésies (1887). Plusieurs Sonnets, no. 2, st. 1, Mallarmé: The Poems, trans. by and ed. Keith Bosley (1977).
  • ''There is only beauty—and it has only one perfect expression—Poetry. All the rest is a lie—except for those who live by the body, love, and, that love of the mind, friendship.... For me, Poetry takes the place of love, because it is enamored of itself, and because its sensual delight falls back deliciously in my soul.''
    Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French Symbolist poet. Letter, May 14, 1867. quoted in Frederic Chase St. Aubyn, Mallarmé, ch. 1 (1969).
  • ''Every soul is a melody which needs renewing.''
    Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French symbolist poet. La Revue Blanche (Paris, Sept. 1895). Variations on a Subject, "Verse Crisis," Complete Works (1945).
  • ''Everything in the world exists to end up in a book.''
    Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French symbolist poet. (Originally published 1886-1896). Variations on a Subject, "As to the Book: The Book, a Spiritual Instrument," Mallarmé: The Poems, trans. by and ed. Keith Bosley (1977).
  • ''The poetic act consists of suddenly seeing that an idea splits up into a number of equal motifs and of grouping them; they rhyme.''
    Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French Symbolist poet. repr. In Mallarmé: The Poems, ed. and trans. by Keith Bosley (1977). Variations sur un sujet, "Crise de Vers," La Revue Blanche (Paris, September 1895).
  • ''The pure work implies the disappearance of the poet as speaker, who hands over to the words.''
    Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French symbolist poet. repr. In Mallarmé: The Poems, ed. and trans. by Keith Bosley (1977). Variations sur un Sujet, "Crise de Vers" in La Revue Blanche (Paris, September 1895).

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A Negress

Possessed by a demon a negress
Wants to taste a girl-child saddened by new fruits
Unlawful ones too under the ragged dress,
This glutton’s ready to try a trick or two:

To her belly she mates two fortunate tits
And, so high no hand will know how to seize her,
Thrusts the dark shock of her booted legs
Just like a tongue unskilled in pleasure.

[Hata Bildir]