Wednesday, 9 September 2009

litany of pale yearning (ah, the fey grace of the pastel tinged soul...)


De ce mi-ai lăsat
Nu mai priveghezi
Dreptele amiezi,
Nopţile abstracte,
Astrele exacte,
Culmile lucide,
Pietrele aride?

Heart of sun and rain,
Wherefore did you leave
The hilltop to grieve?
You no longer watch
The upright noons to notch,
And the abstract nights
With exact high lights,
And the lucid peaks,
And the dried up creaks?


Cine te aduce
Pe cărări în cruce,
Sub limpedea punte
Cu seara pe frunte?

Who sends you to toss
Down the paths that cross,
Under the blue skies
The dusk in your eyes?


Poate, călător
Liricul meu dor,
Stelele de apă,
Umbrele pe pleoapă,
Cornul depărtării,
Muzicile mării!

'Tis perchance my burning,
My lyrical yearning,
The deep water sparks,
The bugle through trees,
The sea's melodies!


Pe vântiri ascult
Orficul tumul,
Când şi-ardică struna
Fata verde Una
Palidă ca luna.

On high winds i hear
Orphic tumults veer,
When she harps her tune a
Purple, purple maiden, Una,
As pallid as Luna.

Şi-a trecut pe ceaţă
Apătoasa faţă.

Şi-a trecut pe lună
Rătăcita dună.

The liquescent face
Passed through mists and haze.

The wandering dune
Passed beneath the moon.


Cu lacrimă-naltă
Trestii vechi tresaltă
Cununată baltă...
Lespezi mari de apă,
Inima îngroapă,
Lacrima îngroapă.
Ape albe cresc
În funebru ropot,
Pe când mai ceresc
Tânguiosul clopot.

With high tears of silver
Ancient rushes quiver
In the wedded river _
Huge, huge slabs of wave
Cover the heart's grave,
Cover the tear's grave.
Milk-white waters swell
With funereal rumble,
While the doleful knell
Sends the skies a-tumble.


Îngeri cad, opale

Angels, angels fall,
Boreal opals all.


Lunile îndoaie
Seara liniştită,
Salcia de ploaie
Şerpii şui şi-agită.

Now the moon shapes billows
Dark around the lake,
While the rainy willows
Shake their long, live snakes.


Palide Œnone,
Paludate zone,
Duceţi-mi la vale
Tristele ovale.

Oenones, wan fairies,
Palludated areas,
Carry me downhill
My sad ovals still.


Linişti mari se-ntind
Dăruind, plutind,
Lobi de albă lume,
Somn mirat în spume,
Când s-aprind egali
Crini opheliali.

Vast silences spread,
Floating, as they shed
Lobes of a white world,
Foamy sleep down whirled,
And with equal blazes,
Ophelian daisies.


Ca oglinda-i pal
Misticul oval,
Şi luna subţie
Mâna străvezie,
Şi-n ochii vagi sufăr
Umbre de nenufăr,
Întoarce-te dar
La Gândul-amnar!

Pale is like sear clover
The mystical oval,
And the moon does thin
The hand's lucid skin,
Shades of nenuphars
Ache in eyes like scars,
Go back then, if aught,
To the flint-steel Thought!


Oh, mă cheamă-ntruna
Palida nebuna
Fata verde Una -

Oh, she calls me sooner
The pallid, the lunar,
The purple maiden Una -

Excerpts from Cantilena, by Dan Botta
(tr. Dan Duţescu)

two pictures were shot on film, the rest are digital (my first - can 'pale' mean 'shy' as well? :-) attempt to deal with colour on my new Nikon D90)


  1. so your first "digital" post is a winner! proving once again that photography is in the eye and intent of the photographer, not the camera.

  2. tanguiosul clopot - si cuvintele fac muzica... si tu cu imaginile tale.

  3. ….broken now, but not only, not ever.
    And the desert crossing that night,

    the third hour of mist
    was our kingdom, was home,

    was strange bereavement
    where we woke into memory---

    the dark eyes of our princess
    in the gray light beside water,

    her breasts offering their buds
    to the garden, her flowers swaying

    where she touched them at dawn, as if
    a doe had brushed past, scattering

    the dew….


  4. such grace, at your first pale attempt!

    you're a great 'colorist', teaching us how to savour the most subtle of hues (in this series, & in previous ones)

    (btw: lovely word, "fey"!)

  5. Digi awe. Pale is whatever you want it to be Poetess.

  6. Superbe "musique" de tonalités qui nous mène sur ce "floating bridge of dreams".... Encore !


  7. Needed darken'd night, to see
    The many layers this mountain
    Consits of, calling me
    To climb;

    To see
    Earth as close as possible
    Again, it's me who sends,
    Who is being send;

    To hear
    Water sing the
    Eternal song, yet always

    To feel
    The moon and its light
    Singing song

    To taste
    Morning dew
    Collected around a stone

    To touch
    Life's wing

    To fly
    Embracing us
    One winged angels

    To move
    Into Lunas
    Mare Desiderii

    To dive
    Into Hector Berlioz'
    Symphony Fantastique

  8. tout simplement magnifique!!!

  9. Oh Roxana, a truly epic post if there ever was one, and "lyrical yearnings" are exactly what it inspires...

    There is perhaps a piece of music from long ago which one could listen to while gazing intently, longingly, slowly at your images... A Whiter Shade of Pale, by Procul Harem... ?

    Beautiful, whether on film or via a digital captor, it is the soul of the photographer that matters, embalming moments in time, as Bazin said... (and thanks again for that, I did read the entire article...)

  10. C'est pas un mensonge.
    Mais quelque chose d'imaginé.
    Qui n'est jamais d'exact vérité.
    Qui n'est pas non plus son contraire.
    Mais qui est dans tout les cas séparé du reel exterieur
    par les à-peu-près profondément calculés de la vraisemblance.

    (did i ever mention you inspire me?)

  11. I have a young daughter, of Trans-European descent, in that her bloodline could be traced back through Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and several more. Her hair and eyes, the color of the richest loam, but it's the pale of her skin one notices most of all. As if a powdery light had been set to glowing beneath it. As is the same of the woman in this series of photos. She's beautiful, this woman, as are these photographs.

    The poem, I think I'll gift to my daughter. I think I'll show her this page. I'll tell her of you. Just yesterday she indicated she's considering taking up photography while attending school this year. What better source of inspiration can I offer her, but to share with her the beauty existing here with you?

  12. oh and i've been meaning to ask, what is "sonner" in the last stanza? it doesn't rhyme with "lunar" and is not listed in the OED, so i am wondering if it is not a spelling mistake.

  13. ah, pensum, thanks so much for noticing, but of course, it should be "sooner" :-)

  14. you always suprise me.. profoundly nice suprise of course..

    hope you finished your work with satisfaction. ^,~

  15. A lucidez ou a translucidez?
    A névoa branca e quase transparente do sonho ou realidade?
    Afinal , as tuas imagens transportam sempre para o mundo sensitivo...agora quase que " de leve toque"...

  16. Un visage coté Asie belle Ipomée le voilage de ces prise de vue, me fait penser de la condition de la femme au Japon notamment cette homme européen avait ramassé le parapluie d'une femme l'ayant fait tomber et a alors provoqué un espèce de mini séisme chocs de cultures, la femme en question ne sachant pas quoi faire complètement horrifiée , les personnes aux alentours ricanant ou bien faisant preuve de réprobation elle sont généralement assez soumisse, la jeunesse ce rebelle reste dans la plupart des cas l'homme et le big boss...Les Japonaises étant avec des occidentaux sont les plus opposées au système en place .

  17. Michael, winner, you make me laugh :-)
    as Barthes wants it, the best way to look at an image is to close one's eyes in front of it (ah the French and their sweet paradoxes) - what if the best way to photograph is to close one's eyes and hope other eyes will open instead?

    Manu :-) muzica mea, ah!

    James, i won't say anything for now - there is an image asking to be born. and it will be yours.

    ffflaneur, every time you say something about my colours, a big proud uncontrollable smile takes over my face, you should see that :-) but ah, how much i would like to take credit for the magnificent word 'fey', in fact for the entire line containing it - i am afraid i have just stolen that from Prospero, he used it in a comment to my previous post...

  18. merc, one day i will make a post entitled "the pale Poetess's prayer to Pluto"... :-)

    Jeff, je te remercie de tout coeur pour ta visite, je suis heureuse ce que mon petit Pont flottant t'ait plu :-)

    Robert! did you write this inspired by these images or you just felt it was suited for the mood i was trying to create? i don't know how to thank you... right now i am thinking about the way each last word in the stanzas concentrates the essential - there should be the same with pictures, no? a detail (Barthes, whom i am quoting a lot today calls it the 'punctum') cutting right through us and being decisive for the way we respond to a picture.

    Line, merci beaucoup, vraiment!

  19. Owen, aaaah - that song, i love it, indeed! and the words are fabulous, no? i think you are right, it strangely fits the mood of this post, it seems to me...
    i am glad you liked the Bazin article, i couldn't resist sending you to it since you have a penchant for photographing those tombs!
    ps. whatever were you thinking of when you wrote "Harem" instead of "Harum"? :-P luckily you are here on the generous Bridge and not in a certain fin-de-siecle Viennese doctor's chamber :-)))


    Possible page de journal : "Je veux que l’image soit conforme à mon rêve, qui n’est pas le contraire de la réalité, comme on pourrait le croire. Et si les hommes me parlent de vérité, je reste tranquille dans l’entre-deux et je redéfinis la vraisemblance selon les caprices de mon coeur. Je me rappelle un mot que j’avais aimé une fois : sur-réel"

    (i think you mentioned that once or twice but you got away with it :-)

    S., i am so touched that you share with me the story of your daughter, of her beauty and, as i imagine her, frailty. i would love to photograph her, that powdery light you talk about has captivated my dreams. i am honoured you think she could find something of interest here, i wonder about that... you must be such a proud mother, and she so happy to have you - who else could explain the delightful yet painful paths of the Paper Garden to her? we all have to face it, sooner or later, our paper garden, and we are alone then but it matters so much who taught us to walk in there...

    Peter, the news of my work keeping me out of the Bridge has crossed seas and oceans, indeed :-) but you know, one task finished, another one ahead... i am glad about your surprise and its depth :-P

    Adelino, how could i answer your questions? they are so important, and yet un-answerable... how interesting, Prospero also talked about what is real and what not in his comment, i haven't expected my post to inspire such musings... i am grateful, as always...

    Allan! tu es venu!!! tu ne sais pas combien tu as raison avec ton commentaire, la jeune fille est Japonaise, elle aime profondement sa tradition mais elle a choisi de vivre en Europe pour pouvoir avoir plus de liberte d'expression, elle est artiste (fait de la danse). et maintenant je pense a toi et a ton dilemme, retourner en France ou non, pour des raisons pareilles...

  20. Poezie debordanta si in imagini. Imi plac enorm cele 3: