Alphabet : Inédit by Paul Valéry

By Paul Valéry

"En présence de l. a. lumière, et toutefois hors d'elle, de los angeles fenêtre haute, l'Ange du monde entier, qui d'une voix d'azur et d'or, sur le seuil de ce jour et de l'espace libre, annonce les cieux, les campagnes, les mers, les étendues, les peuples et les déserts, proclame et représente le reste et le Tout, affirme toutes ces choses qui sont en ce second même et qui sont comme si elles n'étaient aspect ; en présence de mes mains, de mes puissances, de mes faiblesses, de mes modèles, et hors d'eux ; special de mes jugements, également éloigné de tous les mots et de toutes les formes, séparé de mon nom, dépouillé de mon histoire, je ne suis que pouvoir et silence, je ne fais aspect partie de ce qui est éclairé par le soleil, et mes ténèbres abstention est plénitude. "

Alors qu'il venait d'acquérir vingt-quatre lettrines gravées, un éditeur demanda à Valéry d'y associer vingt-quatre poèmes en prose dont chacun commencerait par une lettre différente. L'écrivain se proposa aussitôt d'y évoquer les vingt-quatre heures du jour, composa le recueil sans tout à fait l'achever, mais ne le publia pas. A certaines lettres de l'alphabet correspondent donc plusieurs poèmes, et c'est l'ensemble de ces textes qui se trouve ici rassemblé pour l. a. première fois.

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Alphabet : Inédit

"En présence de los angeles lumière, et toutefois hors d'elle, de l. a. fenêtre haute, l'Ange du monde entier, qui d'une voix d'azur et d'or, sur le seuil de ce jour et de l'espace libre, annonce les cieux, les campagnes, les mers, les étendues, les peuples et les déserts, proclame et représente le reste et le Tout, affirme toutes ces choses qui sont en ce second même et qui sont comme si elles n'étaient aspect ; en présence de mes mains, de mes puissances, de mes faiblesses, de mes modèles, et hors d'eux ; particular de mes jugements, également éloigné de tous les mots et de toutes les formes, séparé de mon nom, dépouillé de mon histoire, je ne suis que pouvoir et silence, je ne fais element partie de ce qui est éclairé par le soleil, et mes ténèbres abstention est plénitude.

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Sample text

I hoped he would not change his mind, would this time remember that he had agreed to my study. He never remembered to fill out the necessary papers for my college, and I never dared remind him. Although when he saw me before and after class he was kindly and affectionate in an absent-minded sort of way, I was choked up, timid in his presence, and very well aware that at any given moment he could “forget” who I was. Lowell met his class only sporadically during that term, for shortly after this arrangement, he proceeded to have another breakdown.

Ever! Lowell’s offhand, jokey manner did not evoke a smile from Sylvia, as it did often from others. She was serious, focused on the matter at hand, almost pained. Lowell was intense about poetry, totally one track, but after a long exploration of a poem, or of the work of a “famous” poet, he might turn with a deferential smile 32 Sylvia Plath, 1959–1960 and make a funny, light little comment. To Sylvia, these were annoying distractions. She could not deflect her attention. The person in class and the person revealed in Sylvia Plath’s letters, journals, and eventual poems were entirely different.

S. K. [Maxine Kumin] has won the Yale and get a rejection of my children’s book. S. ”15 Sylvia did not win the Yale Younger Poets prize that year, but George Starbuck’s collection, Bone Thoughts, did. While her Letters Home to her mother are dutiful and saccharine, a parody of a happy girl of the 1950s, her Journals are full of contempt, hatred, and self-aggrandizement. It was interesting to read Sylvia’s versions of the same event: the public face; the private one. I had been doing preliminary research for this book at Yaddo, an artist’s colony in New York State.

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