Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dream Gérard & The Lobster Quadrille: Issa's Sunday Service, #s 111 & 112

Here's a deep cut from one of the least known albums, the unfortunately titled When the Eagle Flies, by the seminal rock group, Traffic: "Dream Gerrard."  The song is an homage to the French Romantic poet, Gérard de Nerval.  His use of dreams had a great influence on the symbolists and surrealists who followed him.

Nerval described his own dream states as "supernaturaliste," a term Apollinaire later shortened to "sur-réaliste."  For more on this, his poetry, and his friendship with Baudelaire, check out this excellent overview. There is an interesting Harper's article which mentions Nerval's lobster fascination (he's the flâneur character you once heard of who took his lobster for a walk - remember?). 

For a remarkable different take on the same poem in the Harper article, check out this translation of "Golden Verses" from the Independent, so different, in fact, it seems like an entirely different poem.   A nice size selection of Nerval poems may be found here, with some individual translations here, here, and here.

All this, of course, put me in mind, or perhaps out of mind, of Lewis Carroll and the famous "Lobster Quadrille," since, if a lobster can walk on a leash, surely s/he may dance.   So, today you will get a two-fer on the Sunday Service, here is the video and song of "The Lobster Quadrille" by current rock phenoms, Franz Ferdinand:


This week's selection from the Lilliput Review archive comes from June 1996, issue #79.  An old friend speaks to us of how he was spoken to:

  It happens sometimes:
  someone inside me
  starts singing and
  I just listen to
  his voice and
  write it down.
Albert Huffstickler

that song the shrike
is singing!
translated by David G. Lanoue

Posts over the next two weeks will be intermittent as I own up to some long standing obligations which I'll no doubt report on here sometime soon.  Which helps explain today's two songs to make up for at least one lost un-forthcoming posting.


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature.  Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 112 songs


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

As an addenda to the Issa shrike poem, long-time Lilliput friend Ed Baker sent along a link to his own "Shrike," published by John Martone's tel let press.

Enjoy, Don

Anonymous said...

that Huff piece .... another brilliant piece/observation


after hall bottom line it REALLY is "his" own voice heard...

his muse is him
no matter what/who/how you call "her"

one, ultimately OWNS their OWN voice
& it s cacaphonic song ?


Peter Greene said...

Not a bad job of the Lobster Quadrille, really. Thanks for these various things!

Charles Gramlich said...

Kind of an eerie/weird tune.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Ah, the voice of Huff, clear as a bell, I hear, between drops, everytime it rains.


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Old 333 ... yes, indeed, I winced when I first learned of it and enjoyed it very much when I finally heard it ... glad you liked.


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Charles, yes, Dream Gerard makes the ol' Lobster Quadrille sound like top 40 ... Mr Dodgson would be pleased, no doubt.