Camille at Asile de Montevergues (1914)-V3

FranklyDire
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Joined: June 7th, 2015, 6:45 pm

March 13th, 2018, 2:18 pm #1



V4
I am the only genius in this family.
Paul Claudel.

Camille sits eating on a bench, attractive still
despite the bleakness of the asylum, with black
sleek hair. He bone structure fine and noble.
She is kind to the lunatic who makes gurgling
sounds and leads her gently inside. She takes
up a pen  to write, but it is too much for her.
She cries in disappointment, runs like a sparrow
to the chapel. The spirit of her dead foetus
hangs over her. She harbours the hurt of Auguste's
betrayals, that he signed her work as his. She
see this as his ultimate duplicity to rob a woman
of her art in a man's world: her 'The Mature Age'
He dissolute, abandons her, his rejection aches,
what had been pure he has discarded as a filthy rag.
Women are the objects of a man's sexual desire.
The token phallus that swings between its legs
is just too much. But Debussy sought to woo her,
she told me: "Jessie, after Rodin I lost all interest."
She was faithful herself, gave unconditional love.
Debussy hoped: 'Clair de Lune' would seal his attempt
to win her, alas it was not to be. They remain friends
and so do we, true friends, I visit when I can,
she is as sane as you and I. She has adjusted
to the cruelty of her family who have committed
her to this place, yet is not at peace. She longs
for the purity of her youth, the barren winter trees,
the cleansing wind of home at Villeneuve-sur-Fère.


******


V3
I am the only genius in this family.
Paul Claudel.

Camille sits eating on a bench, still attractive
despite the bleakness of the asylum, with black
sleek hair. He bone structure fine and noble.

She is kind to the lunatic who makes gurgling, sucking
sounds and leads her gently back inside. She takes
up pen and ink to draw, but it is too much for her. 

She cries in disappointment then runs like a sparrow
to pray. The spirit of her aborted child hangs over her,
a spectre of decay. She harbours the hurt of Auguste's

betrayals, that he signed her work as his and copied it.
He cannot shake of his petite bourgeois stance,
he censors her work: The Mature Age, he declares

her dissolute. She cannot forget his rejection,
what had been pure he has discarded as a filthy rag.
He cannot concede that we too are driven by sexual desire,

maybe the token phallus that swings between its legs
is just too much for him. Achille Debussy sought to woo her,
she told me: "Jessie, after Rodin I lost all interest."

She was faithful herself, gave unconditional love. Debussy
had hoped his: Clair de Lune would seal his attempt
to win her, alas it was not to be. They remain friends

and so do we, true friends, I visit when I can,
she is as sane as you and I. She has adjusted
to the cruelty of her family who have sectioned

her to this place, yet is not at peace. She longs
for the purity of her youth, the barren winter trees,
the cleansing wind of home at Villeneuve-sur-Fère.






*****

V2

I am the only genius in this family.
Paul Claudel, her younger brother.

Camille sits eating on a bench outside
the asylum. I am struck by her beauty, past
her bloom, but still with jet-black, sleek hair.

He bone structure like her sculptures, fine,
and noble. She is kind to the lunatic sitting
next to her making gurgling, sucking sounds.

Claudel leads her gently back inside. She wants
to draw, but it is too much, she cries then runs
like a sparrow to pray. An inmate cackles gibberish.

The spirit of her aborted child hangs over her,
a spectre of decay. She cannot forget Auguste's
betrayals, that he signed her work, copied her style.

His bourgeois sensibilities shocked by her statuette:
The Mature Age he reverts  to middle class values,
declares her dissolute.

She cannot forget his rejection, she had given
him everything, what had been pure, intense -
now discarded as filthy rags.

He could not come to terms with women having sexual
desires, a taboo topic in polite society, repelled
by the massive token phallus that swung between its legs.

Achille Debussy sought to win her love, she told me:
"Jessie, After Rodin, I lost all interest in men.
She faithful herself, an all or nothing woman.

Debussy had hoped his Clair de Lune would seal his attempt
to win her, alas it was not to be. We remain friends, true
friends, I visit when I can, she is as sane as you and I

She has adjusted to the cruelty of her mother
who has sectioned her to this place, and still
there is no peace. She longs for the purity

of her youth, the barren winter trees, the cleansing
wind of her childhood. Finally, as if she has not enough
sorrow she dies amid the rape of France.


*****


There is something sadder to lose than life,
the reason for living.
Paul Claudel


She sits eating a potato, her beauty is striking,
still young, jet black, oiled hair that shows
she is physically healthy. Her bone structure

like her sculptured art is fine, noble.
She is kind to the lunatic nearby that
makes gurgling, sucking sounds through

rotted teeth. Claudel leads her gently back
inside. She wants to draw, practice her art,
but it is too much, she weeps. An inmate

bothers her, she leads her to the nun in charge.
Then runs like a sparrow to pray and there
another inmate cackles absurdities, she cannot

find the quiet she needs. The spirit of her aborted
child hangs over her, a spectre of decay. She
cannot forget Rodin's betrayal, his rejection

of her art or comprehend how he had spurned
her unconditional love, what had been pure
she felt he had discarded as a filthy rag.

It didn't matter to her that her family had
sectioned her, because of her hysteria, destroyed much
of her work. There had been a time that all she wanted

was for Rodin to work with her, to be under his spell.
Now she longs for the purity of her youth, the barren
winter trees, the cleansing wind, to be at peace.


*****
Last edited by FranklyDire on July 9th, 2018, 11:01 am, edited 25 times in total.
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BobBradshaw
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Joined: January 8th, 2015, 3:05 pm

March 14th, 2018, 9:56 am #2

Well executed...I like this character piece, especially S5 and S6. The last line needs to be stronger for such a strong poem . Otherwise fix any misspellings and you’re good to go.
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churinga
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Joined: May 22nd, 2016, 8:06 pm

March 14th, 2018, 8:03 pm #3

 Would 'sectioned' be used then in France, it struck me as a UK expression, we say 'committed'. I would eliminate the authorial presence, when you talk about her art, Rodin, her brother, it makes the poem too objective, I like the poem when it focuses on her actual situation. I don't think you need to mention who she is, if people don't know, well they should. You say young brother, I assume that's deliberate, meaning he was young when he said it.  
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FranklyDire
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Joined: June 7th, 2015, 6:45 pm

March 15th, 2018, 8:39 am #4

Sectioned is English, I am British.
Committed is also good.
Don't know what French would be.
Thanks for feedback, have removed young brother.
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toniclark
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Joined: May 5th, 2006, 6:47 pm

March 15th, 2018, 8:52 am #5

A lot to like here. I'm partial to the first half of the poem. For me, it's more effective to see the portrait, what she's doing, than to be told her thoughts. I've never heard the term "sectioned" in this context (I'm in the US). 

Don't forget to change betreyal to betrayal.  ;)
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russkigypsy
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Joined: August 18th, 2013, 10:27 pm

March 15th, 2018, 9:24 am #6

A nice snippet from the movie. Thanks for posting it... I watched!
The poem reads to me too linear.
I would've preferred you invent her private and intimate thoughts
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FranklyDire
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Joined: June 7th, 2015, 6:45 pm

March 15th, 2018, 9:29 am #7

Fair point Alex, I hope to address that
in the coming week.

Thanks
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FranklyDire
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Joined: June 7th, 2015, 6:45 pm

March 16th, 2018, 5:47 pm #8

I forgot to thank you Toni,
You mean betreyal is not betreyal but betrayal?
dang.
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FranklyDire
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Joined: June 7th, 2015, 6:45 pm

March 19th, 2018, 7:52 am #9

I have added version three.
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BobBradshaw
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Joined: January 8th, 2015, 3:05 pm

March 21st, 2018, 2:11 pm #10

I like the basic structure of this portrait; however it is very telling and wordy IMHO.

This line is especially awkward:
He cannot shake of his petite bourgeois puritanicalism

The poem’s concluding image works well.

Get out your paring shears, and work heartlessly. You have a good poem waiting to be rescued.
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