Posts Tagged ‘Colette’

Dear Colette,

I want to write to you

about being a woman

for that is what you write to me.

I want to tell you how your face

enduring after thirty, forty, fifty. . .

hangs above my desk

like my own muse.

I want to tell you how your hands

reach out from your books

& seize my heart.

I want to tell you how your hair

electrifies my thoughts

like my own halo.

I want to tell you how your eyes

penetrate my fear

& make it melt.

I want to tell you

simply that I love you–

though you are “dead”

& I am still “alive.”

Suicides & spinsters–

all our kind!

Even decorous Jane Austen

never marrying,

& Sappho leaping,

& Sylvia in the oven,

& Anna Wickham, Tsvetaeva, Sara Teasdale,

& pale Virginia floating like Ophelia,

& Emily alone, alone, alone. . . .

But you endure & marry,

go on writing,

lose a husband, gain a husband,

go on writing,

sing & tap dance

& you go on writing,

have a child & still

you go on writing,

love a woman, love a man

& go on writing.

You endure your writing

& your life.

Dear Colette,

I only want to thank you:

for your eyes ringed

with bluest paint like bruises,

for your hair gathering sparks

like brush fire,

for your hands which never willingly

let go,

for your years, your child, your lovers,

all your books. . . .

Dear Colette,

you hold me

to this life.


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Actress Ilka Chase (1900-1978) was exceptionally gifted and highly articulate. She had a number of books to her credit and one day she ran across the formidable Humphrey Bogart at a cocktail party and he rasped,”Say baby, that book of yours that just came out- that was a smart job. Who wrote it for you?”
“I wrote it,”she replied,”who read it to you?”
(selected from Con and Maurice Cowan-Pub: Leslie Frewin)
when Colette(1873-1954)the delightfully uninhibited French author was being interviewed by a newspaperman she suggested that he see her life which was made into a film and was currently showing with the words, ”Go and see what wonderful life I’ve had.”
Then she paused and added with a sigh,”I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”
Ernestine Schumann-Heink( 1885-1952)a famous opera singer in her heyday was once performing and while the cellist began playing a baby in the front row began crying. The artiste immediately stopped till its mother took the crying baby out of the hall. Soon after it was the turn of another and the mother would have followed suit but the singer stopped the cellist to stop. She went to the edge of the podium and asked the mother to remain seated. She said “You know I’ve had seven children of my own.” She said much to the delight of the listeners that she would sing a lullaby. After the applause died down she crooned a favourite German lullaby leaving the child as well as everybody else there entranced.
A cloak-room attendant on seeing Mae West’s( 1892-1980) jewels gushed,”Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!”To which Miss West retorted,”Goodness dearie, has nothing to do with it.”

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