A Whirlwind of Emotions in the Poetry of Marceline Desbordes-Valmore or the Poetisation of a Love Story

  • Kim Fuchs Godec
Keywords: Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, poet, love poetry, biographical reading, Romanticism

Abstract

The subject of this paper is not only the love poetry of Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, which belongs to her early creative phase, but also her personal story, which was marked by a stormy relationship that unfortunately did not come to a happy end. Sainte-Beuve, who knew Marceline personally, described her as a very gentle, instinctive, and emotional poet. Through selected verses we examine her gift of “weeping”, which she received with the departure of her lover, whose identity remains a mystery despite much speculation. Marceline established herself in the “Romantic school” with her simplicity and sincerity of expression, with poetry that boils with emotion. She even managed to approach the essence of lyrical poetry. While we can attribute pathos and sadness to her work, but there is no trace of artificiality in these verses. When analysing the motifs, we draw on episodes from her life, and at the same time look at her most important inspiration in the first years of her work, the power of love. We follow the effects that misunderstandings, confusion, disappointment, desolation, sadness etc. have left in the verses.  We consider the deliriums, dreams, and illusions in which she sees and hears her lover again, but without causing her physical exhaustion. Finally, our discussion touches on the gradual change of mood that prevails in the poems. They become dark and morbid, and herald a thematic break that occurs in her following collections.

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Published
2020-12-28
How to Cite
Fuchs GodecK. (2020). A Whirlwind of Emotions in the Poetry of Marceline Desbordes-Valmore or the Poetisation of a Love Story. Journal for Foreign Languages, 12(1), 261-276. https://doi.org/10.4312/vestnik.12.261-276
Section
Articles