The heroine of Ariane Dreyfus’ new collection is called Sophie and she is experiencing misfortunes, but she is not so much the Sophie of the Countess of Ségur as that of her film adaptation by Christophe Honoré in 2016. It is in anyway what the author declares, for whom the film was the driving force behind the writing of the book.
But we can read very well Sophie or Elastic Life without having read the Comtesse de Ségur or having seen Honoré’s film. Because it is first and foremost a book on childhood. Ariane Dreyfus’ focus is on the young heroes. Each of his poems follows their taste for small detail, their seriousness in everything, the cruelty of their games, their permanent versatility, describing for example how the funeral of a doll suddenly turns into a water fight. Sophie and her friends live in an absolute present, an immediacy to be grasped: even if they are not “Not so good, too bad, quickly / Picking the cherries that you won’t see anymore!”
Here is one of the texts from the book.
Fear comes after
Sophie likes to take
Shiny, golden, she detaches them from the red velvet
From all inside the book box
No one else is there
For now it’s for her
The scissors, the coils, the green one,
The white discarded the black, the dice
The very pretty admirable things
Let her slowly lay on the bed
Everyone is very far, finally
She does not know,
Only it is possible
Possible will always suffice
How many pins could the dice contain?
(This pretty vase of tiny swords)
Why wait instead of taking?
Maybe the doll wants
To have short hair now?
She touches it with the scissors
Rather a shadow tears the inside of her belly
Fear walks slower than pleasure
Read alsoThe previous “Poetry Monday”: “yes that annoys”
Ariane Dreyfus, Sophie or the elastic life, ed. le Castor Astral, 112 pages, 12 euros.