by Stephane Mallarme Translation from French by Roger Fry
These nymphs I would perpetuate.
Their light carnation, that it floats in the air
Heavy with tufted slumbers.
Was it a dream I loved?
My doubt, a heap of ancient night, is finishing
In many a subtle branch, which, left the true
Wood itself, proves, alas! that all alone I gave
Myself for triumph the ideal sin of roses.
Read the complete poem
Listen to Leonard Bernstein conduct Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
“Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), is a symphonic poem for orchestra by Claude Debussy. It was first performed in Paris on December 22, 1894, conducted by Gustave Doret; the composition was inspired by the poem “L’après-midi d’un faune” by Stéphane Mallarmé, and later formed the basis for the ballet “Afternoon of a Faun”, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky.
A final reminder that on this Thursday, October 26th, we will be reading and discussing poetry that has inspired music (e.g. “The Lark Ascending” by George Meredith and “The Afternoon of a Faun” by Stephane Mallarme). We will also include poetry written by popular lyricists such as Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Please bring your own favourite examples – whether on the original or expanded topic.
See the SCHEDULE PAGE for submissions to-date.