That is the beauty of Serendipity … that unexpected discovery.
For those who may be familiar with the poetry and black & white imagery of William Mazdra , you may find similarities, as if she could be French ‘colour’ manifestations thereof.
By the same token, William Mazdra could be English-language ‘black & white’ manifestations of Claudine de Fay.
This is a compliment to both Claudine de Fay and William Mazdra.
Claudine’s imagery has a mystical, graceful, dreamy nostalgic feel – of past moments, cherished. Soft and delicateand graceful …
Her imagery often transcends the state of ‘photograph’, and becomes impressionistic art.
As is the imagery of her words ...
There is something in the Romance languages, as if they come packed with an extra dimension of expression.
Or perhaps that is the essence of expression when conceived in ‘mother tongue’? Perhaps translations never fully carry over the entirety of meaning, and leave a hint of what is not there, that is still there awaiting discovery in its original source.
Be it as it may, in following Claudine de Fay it is soon evident that this is a serious poetic voice. Ideas and thoughts so subtle that translations from French require great care to ensure their best possible conveyance.
Un souffle sur la nuque blessée, et le vent flaire la peau dans une pluie sans fin. Tel un vieux cahier, un papier mâché, un poème froissé, j’entends le vent colporter les échos et les nuages font ricochet au ciel perdu de brise.
So exquisitely fine that translation needs knowledge of French and poetic ability!
I asked the American poet, Mary Montalvo, to help with a translation:
Like a soothing breath on a stiff, hurting neck Imbued with the scent of wet skin by a relentless rain, Or of an old notebook, or paper mache, or a crumpled poem I hear the wind reverberate its echoes, And the clouds yield a sky of lost breezes.
For those who read French consider the beautiful and delicate intricacies of this verse:
Sur les mystères aveugles, je vois le destin de l’orpheline des symphonies. Sur son visage troublé, il y a son regard d’un inaccessible abandon. Son âme s’est ouverte à la transparence des enchantements.
Derrière son dos, l’aveuglement des jours semble n’être qu’un reflet des nuits enfermées, sans autre destinée. De ses mains cachées, elle porte les gisantes sur une mer lointaine, là où l’amour et l’orgueil halètent confondus. Elle n’a besoin de rien puisqu’elle a tout perdu, sur une baie aux parfums suspendus. Des jardins plein de vent contiennent l’azur d’un amour sans limite, et se resserrent dans les invisibles bras tout contre elle.
Sur ce temps où un baiser ne lui a été accordé, j’aperçois le destin des révolutionnaires depuis longtemps vêtus de costumes étriqués. L’orpheline garde sur elle un troublant souvenir de victoire abandonnée. De ce bonheur criblé de balles et d’entailles, elle a connu ceux qui viennent rêver le soir sur les champs de bataille où gisent les héros.
Recroquevillée devant moi, elle me raconte l’âge immense et lourde de la Terre sur l’échelle des mémoires, et sur ce temps infini où un corps solitaire dormira sous les cieux.
Elle portera longtemps en moi la tristesse et l’espoir du retour d’un matin.
The tragic events in Homs, Syria, on 22nd February 2012, brought forth her poetic tribute to Rémi Ochlik and Marie Colvin, the journalists that lost their lives reporting.
When we asked for permission to publish this, she asked that religion and politics be kept out of it.
As we are not affiliated to any religion or political movement this is not a problem for us at all.
Our quest as an organization is the promotion of Sustainability, but what we do see as essential for Sustainability, as the crucial platform for human survival, is Compassion.
Without Compassion overflowing, there will be, there can be, no Sustainability.
Yet, paradoxically, Compassion is within us, it is Universal, an Absolute in itself.
Across the human DNA spectrum there are but few that do not carry an abundance of Compassion within them - we are a vast and supreme majority, our collective power as yet not fully manifested.
We only need to realize this, cherish this emotion, and allow it to overflow, to pour itself across all the artificial boundaries that divide us.
In listening to Marie Colvin’s last audio posting I was struck by the calm courage of this woman.
She was in her mid Fifties but perhaps she had already lived many life times already within those years.
In the images of Rémi Ochlik, I was struck by his youthfulness. He still had a life to live.
And perhaps it is in that unfulfilled youth that Claudine de Fay was compelled to write her tribute.
They both bravely had stood their ground in the midst of human right abuses, and they both paid the ultimate price.
The world needs to embrace human rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as formulated by the United Nations provides the internationally accepted definition of these within its 30 Articles.
The birds soaring in Claudine de Fay's image, soaring out of an indistinct, uncertain background, suggest hope, but a poignant one, "una speranza triste".
It is not easy to read her words, those mere four lines of verse, and not feel emotion in the context of this tragedy - a tragedy that has repeated itself daily, in scores, for a year by now.
We sensed the power of her tribute, of its 'mere four lines'.
We felt compelled to seek permission to publish her tribute.
That is the catalystic power of the sacrifice of Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik, bringing people together, to act in focus, to plea for sanity.
Perhaps in some of the words of Marie Colvin’s last post, which we have versified verbatim below and titled "last Post From Baba Amr", is the critical need, the urgency, for Compassion to prevail, always:
Last Post From Baba Amr (By Marie Colvin)
In Baba Amr.
Sickening, Cannot understand how the world can stand by …
And I should be hardened by now.
Watched a baby die today. Shrapnel, doctors could do nothing.
His little tummy just heaved and heaved until he stopped.