Initially released in 1992, this bilingual anthology represents the energy, range, and originality with which the Symbolist circulate was once grafted in Belgium. Cultivating an aesthetics of hallucination and spatial paradigms of the interior global, the fin de siècle Belgian poets reworked the canal towns and landscapes in their place of birth into lasting magnets of the mind's eye. The Belgian Symbolist poems are vessels of passage to visionary nation-states, demonstrating the permeability of internal and outer fact.
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Extra info for An Anthology of Belgian Symbolist Poets (Belgian Francophone Library)
It fades all the fabrics, deepening their color; In the mirror, turned pale, the reﬂections come undone, Like an Ophelia in tears as she sinks; And the pleats of the draperies resemble old pathways, The deepest to be found, along old roads and lands. The evening grows old, frightened of the lights, And crowds around the candles and dim lamps, most hated, Which already plan to make the Shadow bleed. Everything withers in the growing darkness; A bouquet was smiling there, but now drowns, page 14 Donald Flanell Friedman: Belgian Symbolism, an Anthology page 15 Georges Rodenbach “O ville, toi ma soeur .
C’est, la chambre, un doux port relégué Où mon rêve, lassé de tendre au vent ses voiles, Dans le miroir tranquille et pâle s’est cargué. Las! sans plus espérer des sillages d’étoiles Et des départs vers des îles, mon rêve dort Dans le profond miroir, comme en un canal mort; Et faut-il désirer un coup de vent qui chasse En pleine mer cette âme à l’ancre dans la glace? “Aux heures de soir morne . ” from Les Vies Encloses Aux heures de soir morne où l’on voudrait mourir, Où l’on se sent le coeur trop seul, l’âme trop lasse, Quel rafraîchissement de se voir dans la glace!
A distant hint, the vague odor of a wound is sensed; Could a cruciﬁx, somewhere, have begun to drip its blood? Ah! to inhale that sickly smell of ancient church, Insipid, yet sensual and inducing reeling faintness: Fragrant lilies, Christmas mangers with faded straw, Hesitant incense, that dies in the grey shadows; Golden wine evaporated from the ﬂagon; waxen Candles, whose torment atones our sins; All mingled with many other scents: stale altar-cloths And wedding veils, garlanded with orange-ﬂowers.