rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


Yesterday was so mild that, once the sun had set and darkness concealed the dying leaves and shabby plants which gave evidence of the true season, I might have been convinced that spring had arrived, and that the chilly freshness of the night air was no more than a lingering exhalation of a vanquished winter. This inevitably lured me into a mood not characteristic for the time of year. The waning moon's shallow cup and the stars were unencumbered by any vapors, and I found myself rapt by their soft brilliance, despite the inexplicable presence of Orion, some six months out of his apparent season. I could barely bring myself to re-enter the house, so pleasant was the night.

Nevertheless, I eventually found my way to the computer and then discovered something strangely apropos to the situation. It is a commercial art site called Artophile, specializing in prints, etchings, woodcuts and the like. Among their stock they have a great many illustrations from that period when late Art Nouveau was shading into early Art Deco, and several pieces of Pochoir caught my eye. These were done mostly as illustrations for arty French fashion magazines of the day. One ca 1920 piece by Etienne Drian, called La Femme A L'Eventail reminded me of Mallarme's poem:

Autre Eventail de Mademoiselle Mallarme

O dreamer, that I may dive
in pure pathless delight, understand
how subtly to connive
to keep my wing in your hand.

A coolness of twilight is sent
over you by each imprisoned
flutter whose beat extends
delicately to the horizon.

Vertigo! how space quakes
like a great kiss, wild
to be born for no one's sake,
but can neither spring nor be stilled.

Do you feel the fierce paradise
like stifled laughter that slips
from the corner of your lips
to the deep unanimous crease?

The scepter of shores of rose
stagnant on evenings of gold, it's
this white closed flight you pose
against the fire of a bracelet.

I nabbed Drian's drawing to post here:

la femme a l'eventail: por etienne drian
la femme a l'eventail: etienne drian

A morning light somewhat more suggestive of October now reveals the autumnal red of the dogwoods and brown of the oaks, as the moon fades directly overhead. The strange displacement of the season has passed, but the mood it wrought remains.

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