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Mallarmé translations in MOTE 3

I have a set of translations from Mallarmé’s Vers de circonstance in issue 3 of MOTE, edited by Dominic Hale in Edinburgh.  Other contributors are Kashif Sharma-Patel, Peter Gizzi, Ellen Dillon, Robert Kiely, Azad Ashim Sharma, Alison Rumfitt, Imogen Cassels, William Fuller, Tessa Berring, A K Blakemore, Dominc Hale, Fred Spoliar, Pratyusha and Ollie Tong.  dhale [at] ed [døt] ac [døt] uk for enquiries/pdf.

Cover of MOTE 3, ed. Dominic Hale, showing detail of the clouds of Jupiter



Extract from a letter by Paul Valéry to his brother Jules Valéry (1898)

I have just barely started to pull myself together again after this event which is one of the greatest sorrows of my life and an irreparable loss for me.

Nothing will give back to me this friendship with a unique man, the epitome of the most daring thought, the most modest life, and of the most pure, most incomparable honour. The tenderness which he sometimes showed towards me is, and always will be, for me, the only external reason I could admit for valuing myself a little.

I found his coffin in the garden next to the Seine upon which his little boat was still floating. His daughter fell into my arms, recalling to me the sentiments of her father with regard to me. It is an immense blow for her, she had sacrificed everything to her father, the best chances of marriage, etc.

The people arrived; there were a lot of people there for Valvins, and even enough.

I had had a beautiful wreath made by Augustin, which I brought with me.

Fortunately, apart from Mendès, there were few literary undertakers.

The Church was very far off, then the cemetery in an admirable position, absolutely analogous to that of his house.

There, Roujon, who, like everyone, was dressed in country clothes (except for myself who had come from Paris – almost all like cyclists or in Summer clothing) spoke very simply and very well all in all – since he said the important thing – the assurance that the two women would be cared for.

Then I was led forcibly to the graveside and obliged to speak.

I stammered a few words with neither sense nor sequence, I was so choked up. I returned to Paris with Héredia and Régnier.

“Le Temps” attributes to me two sentences which I don’t remember at all? In the end I am indifferent to all that.

Mallarmé has died of a strange accident, for such it must be called.

Since Monday he had a slightly sore throat. The doctor came to see him on Friday and he felt much better and wanted to get up. While he was speaking with the doctor, he stood up, grabbed at him, and fell dead, asphyxiated by a sudden spasm of the glottis, which had no direct relation to his indisposition. It is, it appears, an extremely rare case in pathology.


Now available from Materials:

by Manson and Mendoza


Blue card covers, 48 pages, side-stapled. £5 inc p&p in UK (£6 Europe, £10 ROW).

WINDSUCKERS & ONSETTERS: SONNOTS for Griffiths is a collaborative project between Peter Manson & Mendoza in commemoration of Bill Griffiths (August 20, 1948 – September 13, 2007). The assemblage of ‘niners’ (nine sets of nine lines with nine syllables per line) uses, or responds to, text found in Fishing and Folk: Life and Dialect on the North Sea Coast (2008) & Pitmatic: Talk of the North East Coal Field (2007) compiled by Bill Griffiths.

Bill Griffiths was born in Middlesex and settled in Seaham, Co. Durham. Mendoza was born in Northumberland and settled in London. Peter Manson was born in Glasgow and settled in Glasgow.

You lose your light.    spend all of your lives.

endless doubtlessness,   land-full  /   surprised-

ness”.     unintelligible  language.

            eye-acute.    “look at the sun rising…

unspeaking and becoming”      light-like

sun-froth   unGod.      sun-needle   gaze-blaze

                                    erase death,   and in-turn re-birth.     this

                                    land is gold.   this coal is gold.   this clan-

                   ship      of miners              is gold                   is gold       is


Many thanks to David Grundy and Lisa Jeschke.

Poem and translations in MOTE 1

There are four of my translations from Mallarmé (“…Mysticis umbraculis”, “Sonnet to Valère Gille”, “Macabre gallantry” and “The prodigal son”), a poem translated from Verlaine (“Hour of the shepherd”) and an untitled poem by me in MOTE 1, ed. Dominic Hale, Maria Sledmere and Ryan Edwards (Edinburgh, July 2018).  Many thanks to the editors.


Manson/Mendoza in para·text magazine

There are some extracts from the sequence WINDSUCKERS & ONSETTERS: SONNOTS for Griffiths, by Peter Manson and Mendoza, in the new issue 5 of para·text magazine, edited by Laura Elliott and Angus Sinclair.  Other contributors include Rowan Evans, Laura Elliott, Jeremy Allan Hawkins, Sarah Hayden, Steven Hitchins, nick-e melville, Drew Milne, Jessa Mockridge and Richard Skelton. £6.50 + postage.  Many thanks to the editors.  The complete WINDSUCKERS & ONSETTERS sequence is due soon as a book from MATERIALS.