Initially released in 1992, this bilingual anthology represents the power, variety, and originality with which the Symbolist flow used to be grafted in Belgium. Cultivating an aesthetics of hallucination and spatial paradigms of the interior global, the fin de siècle Belgian poets reworked the canal towns and landscapes in their place of origin into lasting magnets of the mind's eye. The Belgian Symbolist poems are vessels of passage to visionary nation-states, demonstrating the permeability of internal and outer truth.
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Additional resources for An Anthology of Belgian Symbolist Poets (Belgian Francophone Library)
Le soir s’amasse, ayant la crainte des lumières, Autour du lustre et des lampes, surtout haïs, Qui méditent déjà de faire saigner l’Ombre. Tout s’élague dans les ténèbres grandissantes; Un bouquet riait là, mais il s’efface et sombre 15 Donald Flanell Friedman: Belgian Symbolism, an Anthology 16 an anthology of belgian symbolist poets Disappeared, and the ﬂowers seem absent in the darkness. The nude bronzes have sad gestures; The thousand portraits of dead grandmothers Grow dark, have faces grown much older, And mourning crepe has covered their blue ﬁnery.
Now and again, however, something strays in the water, Circulates, unfolds itself, or moves obliquely; The water contracts in a luminous shivering, which breaks Into dying spasms of light, found in a diamond; A dark ﬁsh undulates; grass, dressed in mourning, stirs; page 16 Donald Flanell Friedman: Belgian Symbolism, an Anthology page 17 Georges Rodenbach Et, dans l’obscurité, les ﬂeurs sont comme absentes; Les bronzes nus ont des gestes découragés; Les vieux portraits d’aïeuls, ceux des aïeules feues, S’assombrissent, ont des visages plus âgés, Et du crêpe a couvert leurs fanfreluches bleues.
O snow, the sweet sound . ” from The Reign of Silence O snow, the sweet sound, who lulls the night, So gentle, you, the most pensive sister of silence, The immaculate balance in a cloak of indolence, Preserving your pallor throughout the vespers. Sweet! you smother and enfeeble All of the tumult, shapes, uproar; Wavering snow, you seem to vanish, Far, most far away, in the haze of the streets! And you die the death, for which we have prayed, A white end, thoughtful, pious, serene, A pardoned death, which slowly tells page 26 Donald Flanell Friedman: Belgian Symbolism, an Anthology page 27 Georges Rodenbach “L’Eau, pour qui souffre .