Stéphane Mallarmé

(1842-1898 / France)

Stéphane Mallarmé Quotes

  • ''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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  • ''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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Sea Breeze

The flesh is sad, Alas! and I have read all the books.
Let’s go! Far off. Let’s go! I sense
that the birds, intoxicated, fly
deep into unknown spume and sky!
Nothing – not even old gardens mirrored by eyes –
can restrain this heart that drenches itself in the sea,
O nights, or the abandoned light of my lamp,
on the void of paper, that whiteness defends,
no, not even the young woman feeding her child.

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