January 22nd, 2011

Rouault:
The Little Dwarf

Posted in Music, Painting by ed

M

Rouault called him Le petit Nain.

Not merely a dwarf, but a little one at that.

And yet, even so, he seems cramped by life. Painted into a corner, as it were.

I find myself now and then in sympathy with the poor fellow.

He’s one among perhaps two dozen circus players that Rouault painted in similar style as a collection called The Circus of the Shooting Star.

I have them in a Mondadori book of the same name in Italian — Il Circo Della Stella Filante — a copy of which I once gave to Rickie Lee Jones on her birthday, recalling her sad daring Deep Space equestrienne in the show of same name:

DEEP SPACE
(AN EQUESTRIENNE IN THE CIRCUS OF THE FALLING STAR)

These stars
no one else can see
trapeze the height of thee
vanish as they call

These blues
no one else can hear

No one else can sing
this one for you
can they, dear?

Things that you do are always with me
when you’re laughing you’re always here
What’s the use in crying?
It won’t matter when we’re old.

This tear
will finally fall

Keep your eyes here
when there’s no net at all

Where the Lord’s face
is an all-night cafe

There’s a woman who will wait on
what you have to say

And your dreams are like marbles
in the pocket of a little boy

And they whisper when you hold them
like a beautiful girl

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