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Une Charogne (2019)

Une Charogne

Rappelez-vous l'objet que nous vîmes, mon âme,
Ce beau matin d'été si doux:
Au détour d'un sentier une charogne infâme
Sur un lit semé de cailloux,
Les jambes en l'air, comme une femme lubrique,
Brûlante et suant les poisons,
Ouvrait d'une façon nonchalante et cynique
Son ventre plein d'exhalaisons.
Le soleil rayonnait sur cette pourriture,
Comme afin de la cuire à point,
Et de rendre au centuple à la grande Nature
Tout ce qu'ensemble elle avait joint;
Les mouches bourdonnaient sur ce ventre putride,
D'où sortaient de noirs bataillons
De larves, qui coulaient comme un épais liquide
Le long de ces vivants haillons.
Tout cela descendait, montait comme une vague
Ou s'élançait en pétillant;
On eût dit que le corps, enflé d'un souffle vague,
Vivait en se multipliant.
Et ce monde rendait une étrange musique,
Comme l'eau courante et le vent,
Ou le grain qu'un vanneur d'un mouvement rythmique
Agite et tourne dans son van.
Les formes s'effaçaient et n'étaient plus qu'un rêve,
Une ébauche lente à venir
Sur la toile oubliée, et que l'artiste achève
Seulement par le souvenir.
Derrière les rochers une chienne inquiète
Nous regardait d'un oeil fâché,
Epiant le moment de reprendre au squelette
Le morceau qu'elle avait lâché.
— Et pourtant vous serez semblable à cette ordure,
À cette horrible infection,
Etoile de mes yeux, soleil de ma nature,
Vous, mon ange et ma passion!
Oui! telle vous serez, ô la reine des grâces,
Apres les derniers sacrements,
Quand vous irez, sous l'herbe et les floraisons grasses,
Moisir parmi les ossements.
Alors, ô ma beauté! dites à la vermine
Qui vous mangera de baisers,
Que j'ai gardé la forme et l'essence divine
De mes amours décomposés!

Dead Meat

Remember the thing we saw, my soul,
this fine sweet summer morning,
round a turn in the path: a filthy carcass
sprawled on a gravel bed;
legs in the air like a hot slut;
broiling, sweating out poisons;
casually, cynically, spreading to display
its bellyful of gases.
sky ogling the shameless meat
that opened out like a flower.
The stink so overwhelming, you thought
you’d pass out there on the grass.
Flies buzzing on the putrid belly,
black battalions of maggots
streaming out like thick liquid along
the agitated rags of flesh.
The whole thing undulating like a wave,
or spasming, catching the light:
you’d swear the corpse, heaving with borrowed breath,
was alive, busy reproducing.
And it gave out a strange music,
like wind and running water,
or the rhythmic whisper and hiss
of rice rinsed in a sieve.
Shifting forms faded, no more than a dream,
a rough sketch slow to take shape
on an abandoned canvas; the artist
has to finish from memory.
From behind the rocks, a restless feral bitch
eyeing us resentfully,
itching to get back at the bones
for the shreds she left.
And yet. This will be you, in the end.
This mass of foulness, sepsis, this dead meat.
Light of my eyes, sunshine of my self,
you, my angel, my anguish.
Yes, this is how you’ll be, queen of all graces,
when the last rites are done, and you go down
under the grass, under the fat flowers,
to moulder with other bones.
Then, beautiful, tell the vermin
who eat you up with kisses:
I kept your essence, the true shape of you, the meaning
of my broken-down love.

Composer

Cheryl's music has been described as “like a declaration of faith in the eternal verities of composition” (The Times), with “a voice overflowing not only with ideas, but also with the discipline and artistry necessary to harness them” (The Scotsman). Classical tradition, along with diverse contemporary inspirations including literature, painting, and dance have contributed to a creative presence provocatively her own. Her works include From the Beginning of the World, a setting of Tycho Brahe's remarkably prescient thesis on the Great Comet of 1577 (BBC Proms, 2015), Pay Close Attention, a homage to electronic music gods The Prodigy, The Whole Earth Dances, a quintet influenced by the local landscape and the poetry of Ted Hughes (Spitalfields Festival, 2016) and Game On, a duet for piano and Commodore 64 inspired by Game Theory and the crimes of bankers (NonClassical at the Dalston Victoria, 2016).

Most recently she collaborated with librettist Tamsin Collison on Last Man Standing, a 25 minute work for baritone and orchestra to commemorate the Armistice, which was premiered at the Barbican by Marcus Farnsworth and the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins on the 30th November.​

Cheryl wrote her first piece within weeks of taking up the 'cello aged 7, and despite some early disasters (her first string orchestra piece was thrown out by the school conductor due to mistakes in her hand-copied parts) Cheryl's desire to compensate for her chronic shyness through composing remained unquashed. At 15 she won the BBC Young Composer of the Year Competition, and it was during the first performance of her Concertino for 'Cello, Piano, Percussion and Orchestra, by cellist Peter Dixon and the BBC Philharmonic that she became convinced that her life had to be in composition.​

Twenty years on, Cheryl's obsessive dedication, imperviousness to rejection, inherent thriftiness and endless stamina for filling in funding applications has resulted in her working full time as a composer. She has a Double First from Cambridge University, a PhD from Kings College London and has been awarded many prizes, scholarships and residences: a full list can be found here. Three CD's of her work have been released on the Champs Hill Records label, with two more albums due out in the next 18 months. Her output addresses all genres from opera, ballet and concerto to song, chamber and solo music, reaching audiences from the Proms to outreach workshops. Recent works include a piano concerto for Ivana Gavric and the Southbank Sinfonia.


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Poet

Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe.

His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century. Baudelaire's highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé among many others. He is credited with coining the term "modernity" (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.

Read Les Fleurs du mal here.


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