Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Francois Villon

 He inhabits the toy town universe of medieval politics and metaphysics. He doesn't question it- he's no philosopher or theologian and no-one has yet suggested there might be alternatives- but he feels its absurdity.  You don't mess with the powers that be , but equally you don't accord them any more respect than will keep your neck from feeling the weight of your arse.  "Not my bishop" he says of Thibault d'Aussigny who has kept him banged up in gaol for a year- and he's only pretending to mourn the kings and dauphins who have gone the way of "le preux Charlemagne", making a point of not remembering the name of- you know- that really great Spanish king, Whassisname. The gone girls affect him more- and when he speaks in a voice other than his own it's always as a woman- his mother or La Belle Heaulmiere. He likes his whores- no, loves them- with the kind of messed up fellow feeling Toulouse Lautrec also showed. He and they are both on the losing side of the social contract. But cheerful, but sarky, and taking what they can grab with the left and the right.  God, as maker and mechanic of the whole crazy clockwork, is treated with a kind of joshing familiarity. "It's only me,  Lord, little Francis, you know better than to take me seriously. Funny old world, you've created,eh?"

I can read him in the original- with a crib at my elbow. My French isn't good enough for his language to register with me as quaint,  for which reason he speaks to me more directly than Chaucer does. I surprise myself a little when I find myself saying it, but I think he's my favourite poet.
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