Stereosc2pe + The Meeting | Guillaume Apollinaire / Françoise Hardy

Stereosc2pe + The Meeting | Guillaume Apollinaire / Françoise HardyGuillaume+Apollinaire+(2)
 Maurice de Vlaminck, Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire, 1905            Françoise Hardy

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  1. 18 September 1915

    My love, my Madeleine, my thought was indeed badly expressed and you have rectified it with the good sense of the exquisite lover that you are.

    You understand, do you not my darling, that we two have a secret, the secret of our love, for the sake of which a special language has come into being between us, though it is not yet beyond the stammering stage. We already have ‘the Big Event’ and your ‘intimate being’, vague terms in themselves but very clear to me. And I like the fact that there is this secret between us, this language agreed upon that has yet to be refined. ‘Innermost being’, as vague as it may be, is too precise—not for us, certainly, but for what you call, by virtue of the deep intuition within you, ‘the modesty of our love’. Our lexicon could well be borrowed from flowers or from something else.
    To get back to the original subject, the rites of love are of great purity because they are natural but not because they are necessary, it is love itself that is necessary—and our love in consequence is absolute, but its rites are not all necessary. For instance, your hips might conceivably have been narrow, in which case I would have loved you just as much as I do love you but obviously your hips would not have received the same passionate homage that I pay them now. Thus your hips that I adore and that I adore in a thousand ways constitute a factor favourable to refinements of our love but a factor that was a necessary condition of that love, which came about independently of it, as completely natural as such circumstances are and so conducive to refinements of all kinds that the Greeks erected altars to a Callipygean Venus. It is also conceivable that were I not so experienced I might bestow no more than a purely aesthetic admiration upon my love’s feet. That would entail the loss of another form of refinement, as likewise in the event that I held my wife’s intellect to be unnecessary considering that so
    many men love women without intellect. I am pointing all this out to you without describing the refinements themselves since our secret lexicon is not yet extensive enough to address them. Moreover they cannot be addressed save in the form of passionate indications designed to refine your sensitive mind and dissipate your scruples. But I love for my slave to be also my equal—and have you not already surpassed my own refinement with the exquisite bonbon-kiss that you devised in Narbonne? In the passion proper to the Duty that we love (do we not speak of conjugal duty?) lust is permitted, but beyond the limits of this passionate duty one descends rapidly into lechery, which is a vitiated, nauseating form of love.

    Yes, you are my dream of dreams. There is nothing above you and even above that there is only you, you alone, always you. Your wonderful plumpness that you speak of my darling, knowing full well how this will affect me, puts me in mind of all the masterpieces of Praxiteles and certain perfect nudes of Rodin not to mention Albani Fragonard and Ingres and I believe you have much in common with the Venus de Medecis and most of all, most of all with some of Titian’s nudes. I may be mistaken, but I rather think not. But what a joy it is to forget war by talking with you about your beauty.
    At bottom, you see, you are the only thing that counts for me, for you are everything—beauty, love, poetry, in a word life. How can you ask me whether your duty is to love me. It is, absolutely. How could you belong to me otherwise and how could you be my wife if you did not give yourself utterly?

    But I adore you, my Madelon, I take you all of you, I inhale your breath, kiss your mouth and knead the flesh that you offer to me.

    I love you.

    Guillaume Apollinaire / Letters to Madeleine Pagès


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