Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Clarissa Jakobsons new book: Camille Claudel

This is a stunning book about a remarkable woman and by a remarkable woman. Long known for her work with the art of the book, Clarissa Jakobsons brings together her talents as a poet, artist, and designer here in a tribute to the now famous French sculptor Camille Claudel (1864-1943). At age 18, Camille served as Auguste Rodin’s model, lover, inspiration, and according to Jacobsons “eventually artistic equal.” After Camille’s father died, her mother and brother, poet Paul Claudel, confined her to an asylum for thirty years until her death. Room 16 at the Musée Rodin, in Paris, now displays forty other sculptures.

The Art here displayed here is a mixture of the author’s charcoals and oils, and graphic fragments from Rodin, Claudel.The poems in Camille's voice are often to Rodin and to her family pleading for release from the asylum.Samples:

Maman, I vow on God’s hand never to sketch,
sculpt, or trace a single note. Again, Dr. Brunet
requests your signature for my release. Bent knees
plead forgiveness for these stone sculpting hands.
Send Gloves. Soap!

 * * * 

Hear the wind
whirl morning song
in a graveyard of trees?
I write with broken bones
on a rusty breastplate.
My sculptures are yours,
You are Rodin, I am Camille.
Where is my name now?

The poems are as haunting as the story of Camille Claudel's life, finding visual and auditory images to capture the pain and yet the urge to create. One needs to see the book in its wholeness to feel the beauty of its sharing.


Artist - instructor, Clarissa Jakobsons was twice featured poet in Paris, France at “The Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore” and wasa winner at the Akron Art Museum New Words Competition.
She has read and published widely in our area. Five-year Associate Editor of Arsenic Journal.
This 32 page chapbook is available in a limited edition by contacting Jakobsons at clarissalj@windstream.net

1 comment:

Clarissa Jakobsons said...

Many thanks, Larry Smith, for your kind words!


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau