Pierre de Ronsard’s “Ode À Cassandre”: Erasure, Recall, Recolouration
Ronsard’s ‘Ode à Cassandre’ is a poem which I memorized in childhood from hearing my mother recite it. Thus deeply embedded in my imagination, the text permits me to access spontaneous, quasi-synæsthetic responses during creative reworking. I took the cue from the form of a rose: from bud through to falling petals: for witty erasures in which words are stolen from Ronsard to comment on time as a thief. Other versions use echoes between French and English, or the projection of echoes by the juxtaposition of lines with deliberate extra space, to suggest each ‘translation’ as a poetic field of possibilities. Semitransparent images express the layered, perpetual movement both of creative reworking and of the translation before translation which occurs when imagination encounters a source.