An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Poetry from France

  • Editor: Gretchen Schultz
  • Pages: xl & 368 pp.
  • Published: 2008
  • ISBN: 9781603290296 (Paperback)
An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Women's Poetry from France Cover
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“This well-documented bilingual anthology, with a wide range of translation styles, is a first-rate pedagogical tool.”

MLR

“The selections in the volume are excellent and . . . will appeal to contemporary tastes. Indeed, most of the translations represent the most careful, critical reading they have ever received.”

—Marilyn Gaddis Rose, Binghamton University

Women poets in nineteenth-century France made important contributions to major stylistic innovations—from the birth of elegiac Romanticism to the inauguration of free verse—and many were prominent in their lifetime, yet only a few are known today, and nearly all have been unavailable in English translation. Of the fourteen poets of this anthology some were wealthy, others struggled in poverty; some were socially conventional, others were cynical or defiant. Their poems range widely in style and idea, from Romantic to Parnassian to symbolist.

Gretchen Schultz, author of The Gendered Lyric: Subjectivity and Difference in Nineteenth-Century French Poetry, provides literary history and biographical notes to show the crucial role women played in nineteenth-century French poetry and to explain why they were criticized and—in the creation of the canon—often eclipsed.

The translators are Anne Atik, Michael Bishop, Mary Ann Caws, Melanie Hawthorne, J. S. A. Lowe, Rosemary Lloyd, Laurence Porter, Christopher Rivers, Gretchen Schultz, Patricia Terry, and Rosanna Warren.

Acknowledgments (ix)

Introduction (xi)

Primary Texts (xxix)

Note on the Translations (xxxi)

Romanticism: Revolutions and Interiority (3)

Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (7)

Son image / The Image (10)

À Délie / To Delia (12)

L’étrangère / The Stranger (16)

Écrivez-moi / Write Me (20)

Une plume de femme / A Woman’s Pen (24)

La page blanche / The White Page (28)

Jeune homme irrité sur un banc d’école... / Angry young man, slouched at your school desk, . . . (32)

Jour d’orient / Eastern Day (36)

Les éclairs / Lightning (38)

Les roses de Saadi / Saadi’s Roses (38)

La jeune fille et le ramier / The Young Girl and the Ring Dove (40)

L’eau douce / Fresh Water (42)

L’esclave / The Slave (46)

Dans la rue par un jour funèbre de Lyon / In the Street on a Funereal Day in Lyon (50)

Amable Tastu (54)

L’ange gardien / Guardian Angel (56)

Delphine Gay de Girardin (66)

Le bonheur d’être belle / The Joy of Being Beautiful (68)

Ourika: Élégie / Ourika: Elegy (72)

Élisa Mercœur (79)

Le réveil d’une vierge / A Maiden Awakes (80)

Le jeune mendiant / The Young Beggar (82)

Louise Colet (86)

Ma poésie / My Poetry (88)

Sonnet / Sonnet (90)

Mezza vita / Mezza vita (92)

Folles et saintes / Madwomen and Saints (96)

À Monsieur Préault, statuaire / To Monsieur Préault, Sculptor (100)

Pæstum / Paestum (102)

Absorption dans l’amour / Absorption in Love (104)

Reaction and Rebellion: Parnassianism, War, and the Fall of Empire (107)

Louise Ackermann (112)

Mon livre / My Book (114)

L’amour et la mort / Love and Death (118)

Le positivisme / Positivism (132)

J’ignore! / I Do Not Know! (134)

Malvina Blanchecotte (136)

À ma mère: Sonnet / To My Mother: Sonnet (138)

Déshéritée / The Outcast Girl (140)

Combats (XIII, LXX, LXXIV) / Battles (XIII, LXX, LXXIV) (144)

Trêves (I et XIII) / Truces (I and XIII) (152)

Paix (VII et XIV) / Peace (VII and XIV) (156)

Louise Michel (162)

Paris / Paris (164)

La danse des bombes / The Bomb Dance (166)

Les œillets rouges / The Red Carnations (170)

Chanson de cirque / Circus Song (172)

V’là le choléra / Cholera’s upon Us (176)

Louisa Siefert (181)

Préface / Preface (182)

Orgueil ! / Pride! (186)

Tristesse / Sadness (188)

Soupir / Sighing (192)

Les saintes colères (II et III) / Holy Wrath (II and III) (196)

Nina de Villard (202)

Jalousie du jeune dieu / Jealousy of a Young God (204)

L’enterrement d’un arbre / The Burial of a Tree (206)

Impromptu / Impromptu (206)

Vers à peindre / Lines to Paint (208)

À Maman / To Mother (210)

L’employé / The Clerk (210)

The Promises of Symbolism (213)

Judith Gautier (217)

Tigre et gazelle / Tiger and Gazelle (218)

La vestale / The Vestal Virgin (222)

D’après Saadi / Inspired by Saadi (224)

Vénus chez Diane / Venus Visits Diana (226)

Sonnet décadent / Decadent Sonnet (228)

Bulle de savon / Soap Bubble (230)

Légende arabe / Arabic Legend (232)

Marie Krysinska (237)

Symphonie en gris / Symphony in Gray (238)

Berceuse macabre / Macabre Lullaby (242)

Nature morte / Still Life (246)

L’ange gardien / Guardian Angel (250)

La parure / Dressing Up (256)

Devant le miroir / In Front of the Mirror (260)

Idylle / Idyll (262)

Le poème des caresses / The Poem of Caresses (264)

Marines / Seascapes (268)

Les lampes / Lamps (274)

Gérard d’Houville (278)

Ciel nocturne / Nighttime Sky (280)

L’ombre / The Shadow (282)

La robe bleue / The Blue Dress (286)

Celle qui passe / She Who Passes (290)

Vœu / Wish (294)

Le potier / The Potter (298)

Avril / April (300)

Apparition / Apparition (304)

Salomé / Salomé (308)

Stances / Stanzas (312)

Épitaphe / Epitaph (316)

Renée Vivien (318)

Sonnets (II) / Sonnets (II) (320)

Amazone / Amazon (322)

Violettes d’automne / Autumn Violets (324)

Aigues-marines / Aquamarines (326)

Roses du soir / Evening Roses (328)

Le bloc de marbre / The Block of Marble (330)

La fourrure / Fur (334)

À la perverse Ophélie / To the Perverse Ophelia (336)

Les Succubes disent... / The Succubae Say . . . (340)

Faste des tissus / Feast of Fabrics (344)

Attente / Expectation (348)

Vous pour qui j’écrivis / It Was for You I Wrote (350)

Le pilori / The Pillory (352)

Sur le rythme saphique / In the Sapphic Rhythm (354)

Pèlerinage / Pilgrimage (356)

Works Cited in the Headnotes and Footnotes (359)

Notes on the Translators (365)