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Enquiry La Sirena Poem

Images of La Sirena

Many thanks to our good friend, Dominic Tetrault, who recently came across these wonderful sirens, drawn by Robert Desnos – and has kindly shared them with us, at La Sirena.

‘Sirena (mermaid) teaching singing to a bird’ (Robert Desnos)
‘Sirena (mermaid) teaching singing to a bird’ (Robert Desnos)

Source for both images: Jacques Doucet literary library – https://bljd.sorbonne.fr/search?preset=19&view=medias&fbclid=IwAR2tfzUJ6p1tLXNhT2ECPf308qPdqDMTZCmCuDd7-9aqV9lShwkxm7sxCtg

The siren is an important figure in Desnos’s work and life. Here is one of several poems featuring sirens.

His partner and second great love, the artist, Youki (Lucie Badoud) was also associated with the siren, which she had tattooed on her thigh.

Poem – ‘Mermaid’ (1930), taken from ‘The Voice of Robert Desnos: Selected Poems’, Translated by William Kulik, The Sheep Meadow Press (Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York, 2004).
Youki Desnos showing her mermaid tattoo (Robert Doisneau, Paris c.1950)

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