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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Studying French Botany

This is my weekly poem from the other blog of mine, and I thought to include it here since it reminds us all of Coleridge and Xanadu.

 Absinthe - Wormwood

Rêves d’Absinthe

Saint Luc, Saint Luc, si gentil que tu sois;
utile et gentil, Saint Luc, avec moi:
marjolaine, romarin, thym,
et encore un peu d'absinthe;

Saint Luc, Saint Luc, pilote auto,
miel et vinaigre avant le feu;
je dors dans le temple à colonnade
couronnée de feuilles d'acanthe!


St. Luke, St. Luke, however kind you may be,
helpful and kind, Saint Luke, to me:
marjoram, rosemary, thyme,
and a bit of absinthe.

Saint Luke, Saint Luke, auto pilot
honey and vinegar before the fire:
I sleep in the temple with the columns
crowned with acanthus leaves!



I woke up this morning with "absinthe" in my head. I seek old Coleridge having myself overdosed on fried chicken and popsicles... which is just as good as what he "did", apparently.

I had been reading about wormwood - or absinthe - in an old herbal, and there was a bit on love charms and philters addressed to various saints.
The herbs probably make up a love charm, Saint Luke is in charge of the whole process... and I apparently put him on "auto pilot" so as to not interfere with whatever dreams of love may come.

The temple with columns crowned by acanthus is a temple with Corinthian pillars, and I assume it is the temple to Artemis, or Diana of Ephesus. If you remember the well known statue of her, she is rightly called "amazon", a term which I read as initial "a" intensifier + "mazon"...    for obvious reasons if you recall the statue.
The usual books on mythology read the intial "a" as a "privative", but that is a very facile and thoughtless translation.


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