Renée Vivien

Renée Vivien.

Renée Vivien (11 June 187718 November 1909), born Pauline Mary Tarn, was a British poet who wrote in the French language. She took to heart all the mannerisms of Symbolism, as one of the last poets to claim allegiance to the school. Her compositions include sonnets, hendecasyllabic verse, and prose poetry.

SourcedEdit

  • I was born under an unlucky star. I love France and I am not French. I am English and I can't like England. My father was Scotch, my mother was born in Honolulu. My father, William Tarn, died at the age of forty in 1890. My real name is Pauline Tarn. I changed it to Renée Vivien.
  • I'm not logical. I'm infected with the romantic fever. It began in my teens when I read Baudelaire in secret, in a country boarding school in England from which I slipped away by climbing over the wall. I was fifteen, the same age as Juliet--a Juliet for whom Romeo had no attraction.
  • Quoted in Mercure de France, I-XII (1953), trans. Jeannette H. Foster (1977)
  • Men smell of leather. ... The leather of huntsmen, furniture movers, porters.
  • Quoted in Mercure de France, I-XII (1953), trans. Jeannette H. Foster (1977)
  • [Charles Brun] was so charming that I always write to him as "My dear Charlotte!"
  • Quoted in Mercure de France, I-XII (1953), trans. Jeannette H. Foster (1977)
  • Just once in my life a man tried to embrace me. It was horrible! He had big boots, a heavy belt, huge gloves. Faugh! Oh, let's not talk about men.
  • Quoted in Mercure de France, I-XII (1953), trans. Jeannette H. Foster (1977)
  • What a disgrace to live at the beginning of the 20th century. ... One is always influenced by one's own time. And ours is that of Sarah Bernhardt and Rostand. Things will be much better in another ten years. You will see a new art born, new and beautiful. You will see that, but I shall not. I shall be dead. But ... Sarah Bernhardt will live forever, and go on playing L'AIGLON forever!
  • Quoted in Mercure de France, I-XII (1953), trans. Jeannette H. Foster (1977)

Évocations (1903)Edit

  • Déesse à qui plaît la ruine des roses,
    Prolonge la nuit !
    • Goddess who delights in the ruin of the rose,
      Prolong the night!
    • Prolonge la Nuit (Prolong the Night), trans. Margaret Porter

Sapho (1903)Edit

  • L’herbe de l’été pâlit sous le soleil.
    La rose, expirant sous les âpres ravages
    Des chaleurs, languit vers l’ombre, et le sommeil
    Coule des feuillages.
    • Under the sun the summer grasses fade.
      The rose, expiring after the harsh ravage
      Of the heat, languishes toward the shade.
      Sleep drips from the foliage.
    • La fraîcheur se glisse (Coolness glides...), trans. Margaret Porter (1977)

Quotes about Renée VivienEdit

  • She makes me doubt my own sex.
  • Tristan Bernard, quoted in Mercure de France, I-XII (1953), trans. Jeannette H. Foster (1977)

External linksEdit

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Last modified on 14 April 2014, at 13:24