Antony Johae
After-Images: Homage to Éric Rohmer
July 2019. 89 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-73-2
£10.50 (+ 2.00 p&p), €11.00 (+ 2.00 p&p), US$13.00 (+ 3.00 p&p)
 
“This remarkable collection, inspired by Eric Rohmer’s films, pushes ekphrastic poetry to a new, original and highly accomplished dimension. A variety of forms such as free verse, rhyming couplets, sonnets, prose all enmesh to express the colour flavour and philosophical impact of Rohmer’s films, while forming a distinct genre of their own. Silence, gestures, actions, conversations – all redolent of the films – create a verbal atmosphere of their own."
Patricia McCarthy

After-Images is essentially a love letter to French film maker Eric Rohmer. Johae’s recollections of Rohmer’s oeuvre – the colours, the landscapes and characters, are revisited with such beauty, succulence, precision, and intimacy they lead the reader inexorably back to the original films. A lyrical and closely observed collection from a devotee.”
Chrys Salt


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Table of Contents


Excerpts from After-Images: Homage to Éric Rohmer

Prelude (L’Ami de mon amie)

I saw Blanche in a whitened city
Walking the mall in a pale dress
Surfing under clouds of cotton
Drinking cool wine outside a café
Talking at length to an innocent boy
Shyly smiling at her party guests.

I saw her swimming in apple water
Walking the olive bank of the Oise
Gazing at the hazy city
Beyond the ancient hunting forest
Holding him in a green glade
Trees a circle of rustling kisses.

I saw her again in a glowing room
Magenta roses in a fluted vase
Cherries ready on a crystal dish
Curtains coloured by a lowering sun
He touching her vivid face
She enfolding herself in grace.
 

Aubade
for Thérèse

A seagull sounds outside. I lie by you,
Your limbs like stone cut to a fine form
Though warm to touch and breathing light into the dawn.
As touch you draw me lightly and we're no more two
But one another in the day’s dark blue.
We're still as glossy beach stones lying love-worn
On our so-safe bed, a passing ship's horn
Could not move us to our window with a view.

The sun’s busy now and would wake us to the world
But you are still sleeping, white as marble touched with red
Though no gross monument, rather tant soit peu – a pearl.

The sea's in, sunshades up, bathers browning, and you're still in bed.
Now let's finish with tropes – I'll talk no more of stones.
Open your windows – awake my love – get up you lazy-bones!
 


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