Do you know Arthur Rimbaud?
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
Our reveal was planned for the end of September.
I would be traveling then, without a computer and without a sewing machine and therefore powerless to sew or post anything. So I urged myself to get started early enough.
I like to hike on long-distance paths. The landscapes are very varied and one never gets bored. They are a summary of all that makes me thrilled: colors, shapes, trees, animals, architecture of the villages along the way and beautiful encounters.
I had in mind the atmosphere of a sunset and mountains and started in this set of colors. I even tried to set it in a window frame (ah...windows!!!)
But then decided it didn't lead anywhere and started again from scratch, trying to use greens as much as I could, which was not my zone of comfort. I was much more pleased with the turn it was taking.
And I even finished it (except for the sleeve which I can add later) so I could post it before leaving.
So, here is one of the landscapes I met or fantasized about. ... But when I finished the quilting, I could not help but associate this green atmosphere with the mythical poem by Arthur Rimbaud, below. Now I am very very happy with this piece and find it very successful (for my taste and my capacities)
Le dormeur du val (It’s a green Hollow), 81 x 60 cm/ 32” x 24”
Mostly self-dyed and printed vintage cottons (from my Grandmother's dowry)
Machine pieced and quilted on an Elna domestic machine
Le Dormeur du Val (French)
C'est un trou de verdure où chante une rivière
Accrochant follement aux herbes des haillons
D'argent ; où le soleil, de la montagne fière,
Luit : c'est un petit val qui mousse de rayons.
Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue,
Et la nuque baignant dans le frais cresson bleu,
Dort ; il est étendu dans l'herbe sous la nue,
Pâle dans son lit vert où la lumière pleut.
Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme
Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme :
Nature, berce-le chaudement : il a froid.
Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine ;
Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine,
Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.
The Sleeper in the Valley (English translation)
It’s a green hollow where a river sings
Madly catching white tatters in the grass.
Where the sun on the proud mountain rings:
It’s a little valley, foaming like light in a glass.
A conscript, open-mouthed, his bare head
And bare neck bathed in the cool blue cress,
Sleeps: stretched out, under the sky, on grass,
Pale where the light rains down on his green bed.
Feet in the yellow flags, he sleeps. Smiling
As a sick child might smile, he’s dozing.
Nature, rock him warmly: he is cold.
The scents no longer make his nostrils twitch:
He sleeps in the sunlight, one hand on his chest,
Tranquil. In his right side, there are two red holes.