violin case

violin case
october 2021
Based on events in the life of poet, thinker & writer, Gerard de Nerval 1808 – 1855.  He was reputed to have walked his ‘pet’ lobster, Thibault, in public, maintaining it made as much sense to walk a lobster as any other beast, and that lobsters were ‘peaceful, serious creatures’.
Unexpectedly I found an article on page 6 in the January 5th, 1925 edition of the ‘Star (Christchurch), ISSUE 17428 describing in brief his life & passing

lobster
In fact it’s own master, and happiest in the deep. Acknowledgements to prime.peta.org for use of this image.

were
those friends
who drank to
your mind
in its fire
the raconteur
awash in dreams
and travel,
flashing from
land to language,
were those
friends who
paid not a
penny down,
then so afeared
of charity,
the cup their
good sense
told them
must never
spill?

the wedding
you sought
was held
without
you*,
your mind,
a compass
in hand you
tilted, while
it span
and never
settled on
its north
so you
staggered
off the stage
that would
not have
you*
into the
night of
curtain
flames,
the lane
fitted tight
in shadow
as a violin
case,

that grim
humour in
in a hat
on your head,
as you
hung
from an
apron string
you had
named*

a beribboned
lobster in
moonlight
without its
master
scratching along
the bricks
of that lane

where angels
gathered in
the grime

Copyright © 2021 Peter Le Baige. All Rights Reserved

* The object of Gerard’s passion, or obsession, chose another to marry
* His attempts to write for the theatre failed
* His body was found with hat still on his head, having hanged himself with a length of ‘apron string’. He had apparently being carrying it with him for days in advance, taking it out to show friends and describing it as ‘the garter of the Queen of Sheba’

The music accompanying the reading is from a recording by Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński of ‘Vedrò con mio diletto’, the aria of the character Anastasio in the opera ‘Giustino’ by Antonio Vivaldi.

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