interlude: blaise cendrars

*something happened to the blogroll and i lost like 13 links…if your name was there and is now gone, please let me know and i will relink it…sorry about that…

back from part 1 of the USF graduate student reading (i read tomorrow so wish me luck)…got to hear valerie witte read (look out for her book which will undoubtedly be picked up soon, she is an amazing poet). i also added some new blog links, so check them out and say hello! obviously, this no longer applies

this post is a continuation of two old posts that are worth a read first: this and here

There are more posts on Cendrars’ other poems in the march archive if you want. This post concerns the beautiful art/poem collaboration with Sonia Delaunay of the poem called “The Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of Little Jeanne of France.” An intro and translation of the poem can be found here.


and thanks to thomas grillot for the links to these images below


(close up of poem)

HERE IS Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999

Sonia Delaunay-Terk. (French, born Russia. 1885-1979). La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France by Blaise Cendrars (Frédéric Sauser). 1913. Illustrated book with pochoir, composition: 6′ 6 5/16″ x 14 1/4″ (199 x 36.2 cm); sheet (unfolded): 6′ 9 5/8″ x 14 1/4″ (207.4 x 36.2 cm). Publisher: Éditions des Hommes Nouveaux, Paris. Printer: Unknown. Edition: 150 announced; 60-100 printed.

Brilliant swirls of color cascade down the left side of this elongated composition, ending with a simplified representation of a red Eiffel Tower. Juxtaposed on the right, in a parallel arrangement, are the words of the poet Cendrars, which end with the text “O Paris.” Colors and words drift in a nonlinear fashion similar to a stream of consciousness, a state in which time and location are irrelevant. Delaunay-Terk’s hues and Cendrars’s prose interact on a simultaneous journey, producing synchronized rhythms of art and poetry.

The text of La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France (Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of the Little Jeanne of France) contains Cendrars’s sporadic flashbacks and flashforwards to other times and places, and recounts his railroad journey from Moscow to the Sea of Japan in 1904.

It also includes recollections of a train ride with his young French mistress, the “petite Jehanne” of the title, who repeatedly asked, “Are we very far from Montmartre?”

Calling their creation “the first simultaneous book,” Delaunay-Terk and Cendrars drew on the artistic theory of simultaneity, espoused by the artist’s husband, the painter Robert Delaunay, and modern poets.

(the full poem:

They projected to make 150 copies, which would equal the height of the Eiffel Tower, (which illuminates the last line of the poem). They never made this many – a rare copy sold in 1991 for 100,000.


7 thoughts on “interlude: blaise cendrars

  1. Beautiful artwork here… Thank you.

    I may, or may not have been on the list, Craig, but you are now a part of the Echoing Voices of A Poetic Justice (Don’t burn the flag. Wash it!)


  2. Thanks for visiting my blog. Of course you can link to it…I’m linking to yours 😉

  3. helen, will get you back on soon.

    cocacy and poetry man, great deal! thanks! hope to hear you’all around here often…

  4. so you change your blog title daily? i was visiting another site and they had you linked as “their eyes…” and i just had to check out and see who was spreading Zora love–and it’s you!!!! the HR guy.

  5. scheherazade, hee hee…my original title was Rebel without a Clause…and i people told me it was too silly, so now i try to change the title every few days, just to keep folks on theit toes…it is funny, though, when i head around to other blogs and see some of my old titles 😉

    take care

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