Friday, February 12, 2010

the little poet; Sabine Sicaud, said Princess Haiku

photo credit

I was browsing in Copperfields last week and came across a collection of poetry by the late Sabine Sicaud. I should have snapped up the book then and there and was disappointed to see it was gone, when I returned to purchase it yesterday. Her poignant and tragic story has quite captivated me and set me to thinking about the poetry that I wrote when I was fourteen. Very often the truest glances of whom we are can be found in our early and unaffected discourse.

I found this translation of one of Sicaud's poems on Sedulia Translations.

Speak to you? No. I cannot.
I prefer to suffer like a plant,
like the bird that says nothing on the linden tree.
They wait. That's fine. Since they aren't tired
of waiting, I'll wait, with the same waiting.

They suffer alone. One should learn how to suffer alone.
I don't want indifferent people ready to smile
nor friends groaning. No one should come.

The plant says nothing. The bird is silent. What would they say?
This pain is alone in the world, whatever one wants.
It is not the pain of others, it is mine.

A leaf has its ache that the other leaf ignores.
And the bird's ache-- the other bird knows nothing about it.

One doesn't know. One doesn't know. Who is like another?
And if they were, what matter. This evening
I don't want to hear a single vain word.

I wait-- like the old motionless tree
and the mute finch behind the window...
A drop of pure water, a little wind, who knows?
What are they waiting for? We will wait for it together.
The sun has told them it will come back, perhaps....

--Sabine Sicaud (1913-1928) died at age 15

What affects me the most in this poem is her old soul for this is a portrait of a tragic heroine age 15. Were she to live to an older age would she have moved more into her soul's vortex or away? We cannot say and will never know, but it is often that people move away from their authentic self.

I have been having dreams of the past and a long ago sadness draws me deeply into a dark undercurrent of tribulation and pathos. The closest person in the world to me was a sister, almost a twin who became a missing person when she was barely twenty. Years later, the truth of her disappearance was finally made known to me. -However it was knowledge received too late as the kernal of sorrow embedded in my early experience grew to become a black pearl; the wisdom of sorrow. It is no wonder that Princess Haiku evolved from a haunted spirit.

I feel that I understand the poetry of Sabine Sicaud in an intimate way.

"Mot vert. Silence vert. Mains vertes / De grands arbres penchés, d'arbustes fous" - "Parola verde. Silenzio verde. Mani verdi / Di grandi alberi incurvati, di folli arbusti" (Sabine Sicaud)

Here is a little from Wiki.

Sabine Sicaud (23 February 1913 - 12 July 1928) was a French poet.
Sabine was born in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, a city in southwestern France. When she was eleven, she won her first poetry prize at the Jasmin d'argent, an annual literary contest held in Agen. At thirteen, she published her Poèmes d'enfant (Childhood Poems), prefaced by the celebrated poet Anna de Noailles. These poems express a child's awakening to the wonders of nature, and display a fervent compassion for all that is vulnerable.[1]
Stricken with what was then a mysterious disease, Sabine died of osteomyelitis at fifteen. During the last year of her life, she expressed her suffering in poems unforgettable in their poignancy and depth of vision. These poems were published for the first time thirty years after her death, under the title Les Poèmes de Sabine Sicaud.

I am going to look for a poem that I wrote when I was fourteen years old. Now it is off to DMV.

4:55 PM

After rummaging through some old boxes I found my 14 year old poem or self.

Water Fountain

Alas, what is happening
is what is happening
there is no pretending
for the liberators
have separated you
from false dreams.

White, white is Spring dust
-smoke files through the
visions of my hope.

Let me play in the
park with the children
and run in water water
playing in water spraying.

Let the sound of our
laughter surround the
world, the time is up
it has been up forever.

Walking again ever
in never stopping
dream images I see
myself, the vision of
a perceptive girl,

She walks upon marble steps
angel vision in Rodin stone,
this stone smooth upon my hand
and firm withing the conception
of human human love.

Water darkness wandering through
a never ending beginning
life fills me with sundry longing.

Poet's note (Years later I visited the Rodin Museum in Paris and touched one of his angel's but had quite forgotten this little
poem; one of my first efforts.)

Odile Ayral-Clause interviewed the last persons to have known the Sicaud family, and wrote the extensive introduction to this bilingual volume that presents the majority of Sicaud’s œuvre, masterfully translated by Norman R. Shapiro.

If any of my readers has a childhood poem they would like to include in this post, send it to me and I'll add it.


Livia Salome Gnos said...

your page is a collection of W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L thoughts and discoveries. thank you so much, it's been a long time I haven't come here... I enjoyed it today... Warm regards

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Princess Haiku for sharing the loveliness and the sadness

AscenderRisesAbove said...

sigh, such lovely poems. a bit of sadness. i love that photo of fog below. sighing again.

Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla) said...

Poignant and beautiful words - thank you for sharing.

goatman said...

I am not sure which one I like best. (I should not judge -- each is expressive and beyond the years of a young child; I could barely write a cogent sentence at 14!) I would make a lousy critic; it would be: "well that part was nice and yet the image of "water darkness wandering through" brings on those deep waters seen far out in the lake where bottom cannot be swum to, but visions of France at the turn of the century certainly count for a vote . . . and on".

How to decide, and why?

painter of blue said...

Princess, I believe this is the most moving post I have read on your blog. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. Both poems are exquisite. The pain of being forced out of innocence too young is palpable.

I send you my love.

vanishingword said...

A lovely poet even at 14.