Moby-Dick™

Leben mit Herman Melville

Fruit and Flower Painter

with one comment

Update for Immolated and Herba Santa:

I den in a garret
     As void as a drum;
In lieu of plum-pudding—
     I paint the plum!

               No use in one’s grieving,
                    The shops you must suit:
               Broken hearts are but potsherds—
                    Paint flowers and fruit!

How whistles my garret,
     A seine for the snows:
I hum O furtuna,
     And—paint the rose!

               December is howling,
                    But feign it a flute:
               Help on the deceiving—
                    Paint flowers and fruit!

 

William Adolphe Bouguereu, Une vocation, 1896Poems by Herman Melville. In 1860 Melville assembled a volume entitled Poems by Herman Melville, which failed to secure a publisher. No table of contents for this project survives, but several of the 1860 poems most certainly appear later in Timoleon and the unpublished Weeds and Wildings. At his death, Melville left twenty-five or so “miscellaneous” poems that do not fall into any project category. Among these are several neatly transcribed, fair-copy poems on high-quality yellow paper. According to Ryan, these works, here indentified as “yellow-paper poems,” predate Melville’s other manuscripts, which are inscribed on less refined paper. Although we cannot date the yellow-paper poems more specifically, they may have originally been included among the Poems of 1860. […]

Fruit and Flower Painter. Originally composed in the first person, the monologue concerns an artist (presumably male) who resorts to commercial painting to make a living and forget his “broken heart.” In revision, Melville shifts from first- to third-person female point of view, thus making the deceived artist a woman. Melville was not happy with his original title and considered four others including “Ashes of Roses.” The image, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: “The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade to paly ashes” (IV.i.99), recurs in “The Swamp Angel“.

John Bryant: Tales, Poems, and Other Writings, Modern Library Classics 2002.

This is the first publication of both versions on the internet.

 

Fruit and Flower Painter

She dens in a garret
     As void as a drum;
In lieu of plum-pudding—
     She paints the plum!

               No use in my grieving,
                    The shops I must suit:
               Broken hearts are but potsherds—
                    Paint flowers and fruit!

How whistles her garret,
     A seine for the snows:
She hums Si fortuna,
     And—paints the rose!

               December is howling,
                    But feign it a flute:
               Help on the deceiving—
                    Paint flowers and fruit!

Image: William Adolphe Bouguereau: Une vocation, 1896.

Written by Wolf

31. December 2009 at 4:34 am

Posted in Laderaum

One Response

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  1. […] a comment » Update for Fruit and Flower Painter and Lieb, die Olle: […]


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