Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Some are born to Endless Night

Place de l'Horloge
Every day during the Festival theater companies walk around town presenting their shows, distributing flyers, often wearing their stage costumes and sometimes acting little excerpts from the play. This young man was part of a cast presenting 'Juliette et la clé des songes' by Georges Neveux (1934), a surreal play where dreams and memories are so intertwined with reality that it becomes impossible toknow which is which. I haven't seen it but the reason why I'm showing this photo is the tattoo running down the young man's arm. They are lines from William Blake's Auguries of Innocence (read the full poem here)
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet Delight.
Some are Born to sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
Are you familiar with this poem? Is it one that speaks to you? Would you wear it on your arm?

Tous les jours durant le Festival d'Avignon des acteurs se balladent en ville pour faire la promotion de leur spectacle. Très souvent habillés en costume de scène, ils distribuent des tracts et jouent parfois de petits extraits de la pièce. Ce jeune homme au visage très expressif faisait partie de la troupe qui présentait 'Juliette ou la clé est songes', une pièce surréaliste de Georges Neveux (1934) où les rêves et les souvenirs se mêlent si intimement à la réalité qu'il est impossible de les distinguer. Je n'ai pas vu la pièce, mais si je vous présente cette photo c'est pour le tatouage sur le bras de notre héros du jour. Il s'agit d'un extrait du très long poème de William Blake Augures d'Innocence (lire le poème entier ici en anglais) - en voici une traduction personnelle :
Vient le matin, vient la nuit
Certains sont nés pour le tourment
Vient la nuit, vient le matin
Certains sont nés pour les délices.
Certains sont nés pour les délices,
Certains nés pour une nuit sans fin.
William Blake est un peintre et poète anglais dont le chef d'oeuvre 'Les Chants de l'innocence et de l'expérience' (1789-1793) réunit en un seul volume des pièces contemporaines de la révolution française qui se répondent par leurs thèmes et leurs figures. Etonnant d'en retrouver la ligne sombre sur le bras d'un jeune homme d'aujourd'hui. Cela vous touche ?

'Avignon Off 2008 - Juliette ou la clé des songes

24 comments:

Chriscot said...

Le Temps est une notion étrangère aux grands poètes... Leurs mots le traversent... Ce poème est magnifique, merci de nous le faire connaitre.

Olivier said...

un beau poème, un bel hommage que lui rend cet homme (et puis cela reste toujours valable, a la différence des célèbres "a ma jeanne pour la vie" ;o) )

Chuck Pefley said...

A striking countenance with such intensity. Nicely captured moment!

No, I wouldn't wear that poem on my arm ... or any other, for that matter. Knowing the sensitivity of the inside upper arm I'm impressed, though not nearly enough to get a personal tattoo.

Peter said...

The poem is very nice! No, I would not have it tatooed on me, but this tatoo is at least something the guy can wear forever without regret, contrary to some other tatoos you see.

hpy said...

Je ne suis pas très poésie, mais j'avoue que ces quelques lignes d'un poème beaucoup plus long, sont d'une musicalité assez exceptionnelle. Je les avais déjà appréciées dans un autre contexte, mais quand à me les tatouer sur le bras ou ailleurs, non merci!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I cannot imagine a tattoo artist willing to take on this complex job. It is hard enough to letter something like this on paper and to tattoo it on skin would seem to me to be impossible. But there you see it.

Bergson said...

un beau poëme que je verrai mal tatoué sur mon corps d'athlète

Michel Benoit said...

Séduite... ?

Jilly said...

Great portrait. I so love the concentration of this actor. Also love the discreet way he is tattooed. I find the poem too bleak and so wouldn't choose it for a tattoo, myself. I love he's done it tho and would think he's a fascinating person. He has an innocent intensity to his eyes, a voluptuousness to his mouth.

David said...

Très expressif en effet le jeune homme !
La dernière fois que j'ai entendu ce poème de Blake, c'est il y a peu, en regardant le DVD de "Dead Man" de Jim Jarmush, chouette coïncidence.

Virginia said...

Wonderful portrait today Nathalie. Interesting poem but no tatoo pour moi.

Pipini said...

I secretly want a tattoo but havent got the guts to do it. I like your depiction of this gentleman, very refreshing. Also, I like Jilly's description of him : innocent intensity to his eyes, a voluptuousness to his mouth, oh la la...

babooshka said...

I didn't realise that tattoing could be so cutlural. This is quite unique. He does have the most intense blue eyes, which you've captured to perfecton.

OrganicPIX.com said...

Captivating thought and a very charismatic portrait.
I like the unique 'single line' approach to his tattoo. While I count many things among my "favorites" I am not certain I would want any of them tattooed on me. Not that I am against tattoos - in fact, I have wanted one for a long time - just cannot decide the "what" or "where".

Kate said...

Natalie, I think that Jilly has said it all. Marvelous portraits of this young man...such intense eyes!! Wanted to say "hello" after an absence due to illness and a short stay in the hospital. On the mend, now and I will return to visit your blog!

Julie said...

Indeed - Jilly says it extremely well,

I do like the poem and the idea of it as a tattoo is enticing. I also agree with Abe that it is one massive job that must have been accomplished in a number of sittings.

... voluptuous mouth ... oh my ...

Coltrane_lives said...

Clever idea I guess. Don't think I've ever seen a poem tattoo, especially traveling around some guy's arm. Blake is okay but if I had to choose a poem to wear for the end of days, it likely wouldn't be this one. Nevertheless, he likes it and that's what matters. Cool photo shoot! Merci!

Anonymous said...

if one must have a tattoo, this would be the right way to do it.

MmeBenaut said...

I don't think I've ever seen a tattoo that is quite this original, even if the poem isn't his. I imagine he would have some interesting tales to tell and that is the magic of these photos, Nathalie; they make one want to find out more about him. I don't much like his other tattoos. Tattoos seem to be a generational thing and something that my generation would never have done.
I do love William Blake's poetry though. His colour plates adorning his "Songs of Innocence" poems are absolutely spectacular. He was not only a poet but an incredible artist too.

Tippie said...

Je ne suis pas -du tout- fan de tatoos et c'est bien la première fois qu'un homme qui en a me "seduit" (euh, tout est relatif hein... Je veux dire: la première fois que me première réaction n'est pas: "Yuk!!"). Il faut dire, il a du charisme, ce jeune homme. Deux photos, un regard, une attitude, qui expriment une forte personalité.

LEMNA said...

I am the one in the endless night.....

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

You have tested it and writing form your personal experience or you find some information online?

Anonymous said...

I am reading this article second time today, you have to be more careful with content leakers. If I will fount it again I will send you a link

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