Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Stephane Mallarme, born Étienne Mallarmé

French Symbolist Poet and Critic

"Every soul is a melody which needs renewing."

"Dreams have as much influence as actions."

"To name an object is to deprive a poem of three-fourths of its pleasure, which consists in a little-by-littler guessing game; the ideal is to suggest."

"But, O my soul, hear the song of the sailors."

"Alas, the flesh is weary, and I've read all the books."

"A soul trembling to sit by a hearth so bright, To exist again, it’s enough if I borrow from Your lips the breath of my name you murmur all night."

"A roll of the dice will never abolish chance."

"Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book."

"Everything that is sacred and that wishes to remain so must envelop itself in mystery."

"Exiled spirits, red as the spotless toe of a seraph spread with scarlet by the shame of rumpled dawns."

"I have made a long enough descent into the void to speak with certainty. There is nothing but beauty--and beauty has only one perfect expression, Poetry. All the rest is a lie."

"Gender named literature simply fun hair."

"From the eternal azure serene irony Overwhelms, indolently as beautiful flowers, the poet who curses his genius powerless through a barren desert of pain. Fleeing, eyes closed, I feel it looks with the intensity of a remorse appalling, my empty soul, flee Where? And what a night haggard Jeter, shreds, throw contempt on this sad? Fog, get in! Put your ashes monotonous With long rags of mist in heaven who drown livid marsh autumns and build a large ceiling quiet! And you, get out of ponds léthéens and picks you coming in the pale mud and reeds, Dear Boredom to butcher one hand never tired bleux The large holes that do wickedly birds. Encor! that relentlessly sad chimneys Active smokers, and one of errant jail soot off the horror of his black streaks sun is dying yellowish on the horizon! -Heaven is death. -To you, I run! gives O field, Forgetting the Ideal cruel and Sin To martyr who comes to share the litter or livestock happiest man is lying, because I want to, because then my brain emptied As the pot of rouge lying at the foot of the wall, No longer the art of attifer the idea sobbing, yawning dismally to an obscure death. . . In vain! the triumph Azur, and I hear singing in the bells. My soul, there is more voice to scare us with his victory mean, metal and living out in blue angelus! He rolls the mist, through old and Ta notive agony and a sword on, or flee in revolt inutle and perverse? I'm haunted. The Azur! the Riviera! the Riviera! the Riviera."

"In reading, a lonely quiet concert is given to our minds; all our mental faculties will be present in this symphonic exaltation."

"I should point out, creating one's own style, as much as is required to illustrate one of the aspects, the golden seam of language, involves beginning again at once, in a different manner, adopting the guise of a pupil when one risked becoming pedantic - thus by a shrugging of one's shoulders, disconcerting some with their genuflecting stance, and immortalizing oneself in multiple, impersonal, or even anonymous forms in response to the gesture of arms raised in stupefaction."

"My hunger for some fruit here feasts / Found them learned also lack flavor. (Satisfied by no fruits here, my starvation / finds equal savor learned in Their deprivation."

"It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things."

"My dream ascend unto thee: this already rare clarity of a heart that thought, I think I'm alone in my home monotone And all around me, living in idolatry On a mirror that reflects its calm sleep Herodias in clear diamond look ..."

"It is in front of the paper that the artist creates himself."

"Paintings are painted with paint, not with ideas."

"Painting not the thing, but its effect."

"That pay silent worst songs ever do launch quick flickering smile If you want we will love with your lips without saying Mute Mute between rounds Sylph in the purple of empire brand A kiss tears Until tip ailerons If you want we will love."

"That virgin, vital, beautiful day: today"

"The flesh is sad, alas, and I have read all the books."

"The reproach that superficial people formulate against Manet, that whereas once he painted ugliness, now he paints vulgarity, falls harmlessly to the ground, when we recognize the fact that he paints the truth."

"The world exists to end up in a book."

"The pure work implies the disappearance of the poet as speaker, who hands over to the words."

"The poetic act consists of suddenly seeing that an idea splits up into a number of equal motifs and of grouping them; they rhyme."

"The world was made in order to result in a beautiful book."

"There is only beauty and it has only one perfect expression poetry. All the rest is a lie except for those who live by the body, love, and, that love of the mind, friendship. For me, Poetry takes the place of love, because it is enamored of itself, and because its sensual delight falls back deliciously in my soul."

"To define is to kill. To suggest is to create."

"Will lovely, lively, virginal today Shatter for us with a wing's drunken blow This hard, forgotten lake haunted in snow By the sheer ice of flocks not flown away!"

"To give a purer sense to the language of the tribe."

"You don't make a poem with ideas, but with words."

"A kiss would kill me, woman, if beauty were not death... By what attraction am I drawn, what morn forgotten by the prophets that pours on the dying distance its? sad rites?"

"All summarized, the soul,"

"All alone I gave myself for triumph the ideal sin of roses."

"Ah well, towards happiness others will lead me with their tresses knotted to the horns of my brow: you know, my passion, that purple and just ripe, the pomegranates burst and murmur with bees; and our blood, aflame for her who will take it, flows for all the eternal swarm of desire."

"A throw of the dice will never abolish chance."

"Are you a living princess or her shadow? Let me kiss your fingers and their rings, and bid you walk no longer in an unknown age..."

"As for me, Poetry takes the place of love, because it is enamored of itself, and because this self-lust has a delightful dying fall in my soul."

"Bears witness to some cigar burning skillfully while the ash is separated far from its bright kiss of fire. So does the choir of romantic art fly towards the lips exclude from it if you start the real because it?s cheap meaning too precise is sure to void your dreamy literature."

"Away with those perfumes that do me harm! I hate them, nurse, and would you have me feel their drunken vapors make my senses reel?"

"He sees, on the horizon filled with light, golden galleons as lovely as swans, moored on a broad river of scented purple."

"How, save through obscure terrors, imagine more implacable still and as a suppliant the god who someday will receive the gift of your grace! and for whom, devoured by anguish, do you keep the unknown splendor and mystery of your being?"

"Hyperbole! Can you not rise in triumph from my memory, a modern magic spell devise as from an ironbound grammary: for I inaugurate through science the hymn of all hearts spiritual in the labor of my patience, Atlas, herbal, ritual."

"Child sprung from the two of us ? showing us our ideal, the way ? ours! Father and mother who sadly existing survive him as the two extremes ? badly coupled in him and sundered ? from whence his death ? obliterating this little child 'self'."

"Etna! 'tis amid you, visited by Venus on your lava fields placing her candid feet, when a sad stillness thunders wherein the flame dies. I hold the queen!"

"Degas was discussing poetry with Mallarm‚; "It isn't ideas I'm short of... I've got too many" [Ce ne sont pas les id‚es qui me manquent... J'en ai trop], said Degas. "But Degas," replied Mallarm‚, "you can't make a poem with ideas. ? You make it with words.""

"From their shades unloose yet more of their girdles: so when of grapes the clearness I've sucked, to banish regret by my ruse disavowed, laughing, I lift the empty bunch to the sky, blowing into its luminous skins and athirst to be drunk, till the evening I keep looking through. oh nymphs, we diverse memories refill."