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Cluster index: John Taylor

The goddess of emptiness.

By Jean Frémon. Translated by John Taylor.   E WERE ALONE in the gardens of the hotel, awaiting fruit cocktails that were not arriving. After the many years that I have come to this country, I should know that time is not the same here as elsewhere, that showing one’s impatience is the height of […]

In memory of

By JOHN TAYLOR.  with drawings by Sam Forder.   a tree trying to take root in the chilly air while you sit on a branch in its crown along the wet ground and breathe deeply • another tree stands on the same muddy bank the surrogate shore the trembling reflection of its needles in backwater […]

From ‘Corot’s Walk’.

John Taylor: ‘Did Corot have a story to tell? Nearly all his paintings tell of the absence of a memorable story: only a mother and her child, only two peasant women gathering herbs or flowers, only a peasant leading his cow down the road.’

A prevailing darkness.

John Taylor: ‘Surely mysterious, intriguing, vivid vestiges are excavated and brought to the light of the printed page, but equally visible, as it were, remains the prevailing darkness.’

A Moral Story.

Jean Frémon: ‘Around 1640, in Amsterdam, a ship’s chandler, who had become rich through the development of shipping companies, commissioned a portrait of his wife from a reputed local painter. ‘You must paint her as she is because this is how I love her’, the merchant had advised.’

from ‘Dialyzing’.

Charline Lambert: ‘She fluctuates, frees her contours, draws watersheds in quicksand.

No properties, except those of all the chemical elements she synthesizes.’

José-Flore Tappy and poems from a country within a country.

José-Flore Tappy: ‘The Mediterranean, the arid lands, the most deserted landscapes, or the poorest landscapes. This is where my imagination goes and where I recover my roots. I have spent many moments of my life on one of the Balearic islands, and I came of age in the midst of an environment that was at once solar and maritime’

To Field Flowers.

John Taylor on Philippe Jaccottet: ‘His writings show us how to invert our hesitations, our trembling, our distress into worthy, beneficial sources that can open once again like a flower after the night, after the early morning frost.’

Nine poems.

Veroniki Dalakoura :’From the pile of rubbish, you went up with your dual essence, with what ultimately gives substance to the quest of man. Melodies were heard everywhere. Heaps, a pile of dirt, indeed dried-up earth. A fruitless search. Voices, joyful screams—what little songs—all together bleating with moans.’

Pierre Chappuis. 6 January 1930 – 22 December 2020.

John Taylor: ‘Beginning two years after my first meeting with Pierre in Vevey, and after I had spent a few hours with him twice in Paris, my wife Françoise and I would sometimes detour up to Neuchâtel on our long drive back to Angers, after visiting her mother in Aix-les-Bains. We would stay for a night at the Hôtel des Arts, around the corner from Pierre and Geneviève’s ground-floor apartment on the rue des Beaux-Arts.’

Pages from the Croatian Notebook.

Franca Mancinelli: ‘My body has an open texture from which hangs a thread. Someone at the other end, without even noticing, pulls it, and slowly I grow thin. The absence beckons me. I approach the spirits of the cold, that white wordless nucleus which governs this earth. I close my eyes, as if pervaded by a flat colorless sea.
I’m starting to translate snow…

Eight poems from ‘Mala kruna’.

Franca Mancinelli: ‘The morgue is a calm lake: the boats
oval like a woman’s seed,
the flesh where a son ever sleeps.’

Maria, towards Cartoceto.

Franca Mancinelli: ‘Among the hearts on the walls, I search, in jest, the initials of my name. I know they have also come here for me. They have knelt at the wooden pew, lit a candle. I was heading towards death, with the instinct of a migrating animal. But even the tiny divinities of the water and the heavens can be tricked: you find them beached, caught in nets, bewildered by their wounds.’

New poems from ‘The Little Book of Passage’.

da Libretto di transito By FRANCA MANCINELLI. Translated from the Italian by John Taylor. NON È SOLO preparare una valigia. È confezionarsi, vestirsi bene. Entrare nella taglia esatta della pena. Gesti a una destinazione sola. Calzando scarpe che non hanno mai premuto la terra, dormiremo nel centro dello sguardo, come neonati. IT’S NOT JUST packing […]


Pierre Voélin: ‘in the distance the processions move on

and he who is listening
behind the wall of foliage
remembers the promises of your name’