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8 poems

translated from the French of 
Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes


These are the first eight of Ribemont-Dessaignes's long sequence of poems, Ecce Homo (1945). 'Ariane' translates into English as 'Ariadne' but I kept the French version as more evocative of longing. '1003' is the number of the women Don Giovanni's seduced in Spain according to Mozart's opera. Ribemont-Dessaignes was a composer as well as poet, novelist, painter and playwright, and apparently planned to write his own opera on the story of Don Juan, but I still think that he has in mind the the 'multitude of enemies' the poet contains in René Daumal's great poem Holy War, accessible in an English translation at The picture on the cover of this pamphlet is by me. I've never seen any of Ribemont-Dessaignes's paintings that I liked.

Prelude- on origins
Appeal to a mirror
Second appeal to a mirror
Young Pan
To know
Ariane - waxen beauty
On a wax figure