Theophile Gautier’s ‘Selected Lyrics’

9780300164336I am not going to finish this book. I’m just not.

It contains the complete poems of his crowning poetic achievement (sort of his Leaves of Grass) – Émaux et Camées.

Émaux et Camées is brilliant. It’s decadent. It’s supremely erotic. Gautier the poet, the voice, the eye stares lustily at the genitals of an androgynous statue, as do others around him, each praying that hidden there are the sex organs of their choosing. The translation is wonderful and I give it full credit for succeeding in translating it into rhyming English.

Now, I’m reading poems from an earlier book by Gautier: España

Sweet Mary, mother of God, is it boring. Ugh.

And it’s so sad, because when, in December, I was reading through Émaux et Camées, I was so happy. Thrilled. What a find! And then. The disappointment. It’s taken me a month to accept that it’s just not getting better and I’m not going to read it all.

C’est la vie, eh?

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