Poetry is nudes that stay nude

Nude swimmer, legs spread, watercolor by William EatonPlease find the Spanish version and English original text (carefully rhymed, syllables counted!) below the French version. Each of these texts differs a little from the others; in particular: the style of the French and Spanish final lines differs from that of the English. Quería presentar primero las versiones no inglesas en honor de todos los visitantes, o bloggers, hispanohablantes y francophones, que se han unido recientemente a la comunidad de Montaigbakhtinianas.

 

Une soirée avec un chien invisible

Ou, la poésie est des nus qui restent nus

Lorsque les femmes – en leggings exposées –
De leurs fesses se sont montrées plus fières,
De quelle femme audacieuse avons-nous entendu :
« Faut-il montrer toute ma douceur ? »

Et quand les VUS sont devenus populaires,
Qui écoutait les entêtés,
Les gens trop bêtes pour ne pas avouer :
« À conduire ces machins sont gênants. »

Quand, il y a longtemps, c’était à la mode,
Les hommes leurs femmes à battre –
Bien sûr les manifestations étaient trop retardées !
Mais – vivre autrement – qui comment pouvait l’imaginer ?

C’est comme notre cher capitalisme,
Avec sa créativité destructrice :
Au milieu de tous les problèmes qui se présentent :
Pas de foi dans d’autres modes de vie ?

Ce soir, nous dessinerons deux jeunes femmes,
Leurs sexes rasés ou épilés.
Et qui oserait maintenant autrement
Apparaître devant un publique ?

Ours, animal, éhonté . . . par rapport à son époque déphasé.

The Invisible Dog (Le chien invisible) est un centre d’art à Brooklyn (aux Etats-Unis) où, entre autres, des séances de dessin, avec des modèles nus, sont souvent organisées. Auparavant, cet espace servait à la fabrication des gadgets : « chiens invisibles » : laisses métalliques rigides qui étaient attachées à des colliers sur lesquels il n’y avait pas de chien. Un engouement passager, et dépassée depuis longtemps.

Le tagline est adapté de un mot célèbre d’Ezra Pound : “Poetry is news that stays news.” (ABC of Reading, 1934)

 

Una noche con un perro invisible

O, la poesía es desnudos que permanecen desnudos

Cuando las mujeres – en leggings expuestas –
De sus nalgas ahora orgullosas,
Que mujer audaz fue oído decir:
“¿Debe mostrarse toda mi suavidad?”

Y cuando los todoterrenos se hicieron tan populares,
Nos burlamos de esas mentes caprichosas,
Que estúpidamente dijeron lo que pensaban:
“No son divertidas de conducir estas cajas.”

Hace mucho tiempo, estaba de moda,
Hombres los que golpeando a sus esposas.
Por supuesto que demasiado tarde llegaron las manifestaciones!
Pero -viviendo diferente- ¿quién pudo imaginarlo?

Es como nuestro querido capitalismo,
Con su creatividad destructiva:
En medio de todos los problemas que surgen:
¿No tenemos fe en otros estilos de vida?

Estamos dibujando a dos mujeres jóvenes
Con vulvas afeitadas o depiladas.
¿Y quién ahora se atrevería de otra manera
A aparecer desnudo en un escenario?

Oso, animal, desvergonzado . . . no sincronizado con sus tiempos.

The Invisible Dog (El Perro Invisible) es un centro de arte en Brooklyn donde, entre otras cosas, a menudo se organizan sesiones de dibujo con modelos desnudas. Anteriormente, este espacio se utilizaba para fabricar gadgets: “perros invisibles”: correas metálicas rígidas que se sujetaban a collares en los que no había perros. Una locura temporal, y largamente atrasada.

El eslogan es una adaptación de una famosa palabra de Ezra Pound: “Poetry is news that stays news.” (ABC of Reading, 1934)

An evening with an invisible dog

Or, Poetry is nudes that stay nude

When city women, of buttocks now proud,
In leggings their shapes exposed,
Who – audacious – was heard to say:
Must all my softness be shown?

When SUVs became so popular,
We scoffed at those wayward minds,
Who ignorantly thought to say:
These things are awkward to drive.

Long ago, it was in fashion, for men
On women to beat. Delayed,
For sure, the public protests were!
But who imagined other ways?

It’s like our dear old capitalism –
With its destructive creativity:
With all the problems that arise:
For alternatives no receptivity?

I see models now posing, their vulvas bared,
And who’d dare do otherwise?
Unwaxed in public to appear,
Naked and out of step with the times?

The Invisible Dog (Le chien invisible) is an arts center in Brooklyn where, among other things, figure-drawing sessions, with nude models, are often held. Formerly this space was used to manufacture a novelty item: “invisible dogs”: stiff metal leashes which were attached to collars on which there was no dog. A fad, now long passed.

Tagline is adapted from Ezra Pound’s famous line: “Poetry is news that stays news.” (ABC of Reading, 1934)

 
— Poem and watercolor by William Eaton. For more, see other Montaigbakhtinian posts or visit Surviving the Twenty-First Century.

 

Addendum concerning John Ruskin’s horror of his wife’s public hair

John Everett Millais, Portrait of Effie Gray (briefly the wife of John Ruskin), 1855A few days after publishing this or these poems, I stumbled on a copy of Phyllis Rose’s 1980s feminist work Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages. It includes discussion of the failed marriage of John Ruskin (1819–1900), the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, and Effie Gray (pictured at right, in a portrait by her second husband, John Everett Millais). In a letter to her father regarding the non-consummation of her first marriage, Gray wrote that Ruskin

had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was, and that the reason he did not make me his Wife was because he was disgusted with my person the first evening.

Ruskin confirmed this in his statement to his lawyer during the annulment proceedings:

It may be thought strange that I could abstain from a woman who to most people was so attractive. But though her face was beautiful, her person was not formed to excite passion. On the contrary, there were certain circumstances in her person which completely checked it.

The reason for Ruskin’s disgust with circumstances in Effie’s person is unknown, and there are various hypotheses, both physical and economic.

Rose writes (my red italics being additional):

According to Mary Luytens, who has spent years studying the Ruskins’ marriage, what disgusted John about Effie’s body was probably her pubic hair. She reasons that John had never seen a naked woman in his life and that even the representations of the female nude he had seen in art were either censored or highly idealized, like classical statues. He expected therefore a smooth, hairless, small-breasted body, essentially a pre-adolescent body, and the signs of sexual maturity on Effie’s body . . . disconcerted and dismayed him. The fact that Ruskin in later life was attracted to very young girls, falling in love at the age of forty with a ten-year-old, supports the conjecture that his image of the ideal female body was immature.

Nuff said?



Categories: El ala española del museo, Etiquette, L’aile française, Poems (including Limericks), sex (more or less)

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