`Le Badinage’ sketch 1, by Jac May, illustration for the poem 14th August 2018. Two young chaps sit on the wall above the river in Chinon. Badinage = idle, inconsequential chatter. This poem – a first version, and this being a first stab at a sketch to go with it – was inspired by the wonderful piece of music of this name by Marin Marais. You can listen to a terrific version of this music at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBLu0KQF80U
- or, Important Considerations & Ultimate Questions after three or more glasses of whiskey
- I am not famous for my dancing
however, I feel utterly alive
sitting in my corner considering the wonders of the earth
and the glories of the day,
the aspirations of my life
(also, let me say, the beauty of my wife
the Arts that strew my way
and the mind’s constant rebirth).
I feel utterly alive.
Others do indeed set off fireworks
hurl themselves into contortions of ecstatic dance
(Believe it or not I will always be glad of it!)
the beat of the music makes them move about on the floor
while a melody transports them to a mountaintop
the other side of memories;
they clamber onto ancient monuments
and deck the dullest civic utilities
with brightly coloured flags and banners.
You with leaping joy do festival
and all the while I sit here
transfixed to the chair
by thoughts that will not let me go,
may even close my ears and eyes
to hear more profoundly the surge of bars
and see more clearly cascades of luminosities.
Dancing paralyses me.
I have tried to dance,
but my feet step on my best intentions,
sensations, shudderings, fantasies,
auditions, envisagings, imaginings and all my
crises of apprehension.
is not, no, not to be sullen or to fall by
the way of Life and true elation,
certainly not imagining my way superior.
I do but dream
a mansion inhabited by the music.
This is indeed a simple story of one
left alone, terrified, saturated by bliss,
every nerve compressed by notes
that like threads just manage to hold me
inches above the abyss
here is the dance floor
of this reeling, burning Earth
abandoned to the antics of unchoreographed, crazy, leaping
In spite of this extraordinary movement within
and the concatenations of harmony
and its sometimes beauty
I am not famous for my dancing.
Jac May, totally unfinished badinage, August 2018!