I’ve been doing some studies of Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941) while reading his book of short poems, Fireflies, and this is the first one that I really liked, so I decided to pair it with one of the poems from his book. The style I was going for was partly influenced by his signature. I wish I could read his work in its original Bengali, because I’ve read it’s even more striking and melodious.
Inspired by Henri Fantin-Latour’s painting Un coin de table (1872), which I saw at the Musée D’Orsay about five years ago, and was quite taken with. Apparently it was criticized at the time for being “too big,” but ironically that’s what drew me to it. When I read the names of the figures in the painting, I imagined which of my favorite French artists and thinkers I’d like to see sitting together. Apologies to Charles Baudelaire, who was supposed to be featured in the original by Fantin-Latour, but got left out. I also forgot to make some space for him. But I did write a poem about visiting his grave, so hopefully that makes up for it.
PS – Thanks Bukowski
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