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Die Metaphorik zyklischer Wiederkehr bei Philippe Jaccottet – Aufstieg aus dem Chthonischen ins Lichte

Ferdinand Simonis


Pages 239 - 270



In his late poetry and aesthetics Philippe Jaccottet returns to a recurrant theme and crucial topic of his oeuvre, which he already explored in his earlier collection of Airs poems. What fascinates the poet is the motif of transient beauty and temporary happiness in the wider context of mortality, death and the passage of time. In his Cahier de verdure (1990), Après beaucoup d’années (1994), and Et, Néanmoins (2001) as well as Ce peu de bruits (2008), Jaccottet captures the ephemereal moments of hope and beauty by a subtle and complex imagery of opening blossoms and ascending birds situated within the overall scenario of cyclical processes in nature. Moreover he refers to Gongora’s Soledades, which he has translated into French, by evoking the powerful image of the falcon. In his poetry Jaccottet does not only extensively adapt the bird imagery but also invests it with a self-reflective turn, for the flight of the bird is implicitly compared to the form of the écriture and the process of letter writing.

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