Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants terribles (1929), and the films Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents terribles (1948), Beauty and the Beast (1946), and Orpheus (1949). His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María Félix, Édith Piaf and Raymond Radiguet.
Cocteau was born in Maisons-Laffitte, Yvelines, a village near Paris, to Georges Cocteau and his wife, Eugénie Lecomte; a socially prominent Parisian ... more »
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Jean Cocteau Poems
Preamble (A Rough Draft For An Ars Poeti...
...Preamble A rough draft for an ars poetica
L'Ange Heurtebise (translated in english...
I Angel Heurtebise on the steps Beats me with his wings
Grave mouths of lions Sinuous smiling of young crocodiles Along the river's water conveying millions Isles of spice
Take a young girl. Fill her with ice and gin shake it all up to make it androgynous And return her to her family
Sobre Las Olas (On The Waves)
The boys in striped knitware make the waves sprout--is it a storm? Everything coos and the bathing girl consults the mirror of the skies
Pepita queen of Venice When you go beneath your shutter All gondoliers call out: Watch out--Toreador!
Jean Cocteau’s poem for Welles
Orson Welles is a poet through his violence and through his grace. Never does he tumble
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what's known as infinity.''Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 5 (1948). Anubis, in The Infernal Machine, act 2 (1932).
''Poets don't draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently.''Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Dessins (1924), quoted in Pierre Chanel, "A Thousand Flashes of Genius," Jean Cocteau and the Fren...
''One of the characteristics of the dream is that nothing surprises us in it. With no regret, we agree to live in it with strangers, completely cut off from our habits and friends.''Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. "Du Rêve," La Difficulté d'Etre (1947).
''A film is a petrified fountain of thought.''Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Esquire (New York, Feb. 1961).
''When a work appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the work.''Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. (Originally published 1918). Le Coq et l'Arlequin, Le Rappel à L'Ordre (1926), repr. In Collected ...
Comments about Jean Cocteau
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Preamble (A Rough Draft For An Ars Poetica)
A rough draft
for an ars poetica
. . . . . . .
Let's get our dreams unstuck
The grain of rye
free from the prattle of grass
et loin de arbres orateurs
It will sprout
But forget about
the rustic festivities
For the explosive word
the compact generations
and except for you
its sweet-scented dynamite
I discard eloquence
the empty ...