Her apartment overlooking the Seine.
People went to dinner there in the winter.
Sometimes there was an expert on Mallarmé
We talked a lot about the war
Straightway after the meal
she'd apologize for having to leave so soon,
She used to say, Stay as long you like.
No one spoke about her when she wasn't there.
You always went home with the feeling of
having spent a few hours as the guest of strangers
with other guests who were strangers too
of having been on a train, having waited in doctors' waiting rooms, hotels, airports
There was a swimming pool. But no one went in.
We just sat and looked at Paris.
The empty avenues
INTERVIEW WITH A CHILD OF PRIVILEGE
Diane: I hope to see more of you.
Christopher: There isn't any more.
the candles, the sea shells
and my collection of shoes from all over the world
There is an innocence to them, said Frances.
an incandescence which I have seen only
in Egyptian pottery at the museum.
Dead a long time ago now.
I can remember her grace.
She's dressed in scraps of brocade,
out-of-date suits, moth-eaten fox furs
that's her kind of beauty,
tattered, chill, plaintive and in exile
She entertained, Betty Fernandez
We went sometimes.
Ramon Fernandez used to talk about Balzac
as if he himself
had once tried to be Balzac
It was always a joy to meet him in the street
Hallo how are you? he'd say,
in the English style, without a comma,
She, Betty Fernandez, spoke only of
the things still left for sale in the shops,
extra rations of milk or fish,
ways of dealing with shortages,
she didn't go beyond that,
always a good friend, loyal and affectionate.
Collaborators, the Fernandezes were.
During recess she looks toward the street,
all on her own, leaning against a post
in the schoolyard.
The lady's on the terrace outside her room,
looking at the avenues bordering the Mekong,
I see her when I come home from catechism class
with my younger brother.
The room is in the middle of a great palace
with covered traces, the palace itself
in the middle of the garden of oleanders and palms.
she's started giving evening parties again,
the ones expected of her
so that people can just meet occasionally
and escape from the frightful loneliness
of serving in outposts upcountry
THE SURFACE WORLD
rise to the surface.
Go and take a look at the surface world
All of it shines,
the dresses, the furniture, the glasses,
the silver, the ice, the satins
Caresses gold sun-worshipping ring
from the tomb of Tutankhamen
Romanticism is a collection of collage poems made from the memoirs, letters and diaries of Martha Graham, Anaïs Nin, Marguerite Duras, Billie Holiday and Diane Arbus. Photographs trace their paths through cafes, hotels, bars and museums of the cities in which their lives played out: Paris, London and New York.
"Romanticism," wrote Anaïs Nin, "was an obsession with the far in place of the near... the unattainable in place of the attainable."
"Catherine Corman has recast the words of these five bold women into vital, independent poems, and in so doing, she has given their voices new energy and a new, personal clarity. These verses, by turns wistful, severe, wry, generous, bitter, resolute, and compassionate, are, alongside Corman's luminous photographs, a pleasure to read."