Madamoiselle Say

Mademoiselle Say


Mademoiselle Say you’ll stay, oh Camille

Monsieur, away I must go now, salut, oh Rodin

Master your art, the Rose in your hands

But mold, but manipulate my love no more

I must make escape from this cast

Of mistress assistant to your craft


Mademoiselle Say you’ll stay, oh Camille

Oh Rodin, will I ever be the Rose in your hands?

Mais non! I was but the young pupil,

The forbidden apple of your eye over your arms

Smitten with the clay, smitten with the kiss

Of all you taught by way of your charms

Loyalty I vowed to you Rodin

To be master student of your class,

My love always on hand

To be your wife should even forever pass

Yet your love never meant to last


Mademoiselle Say you’ll stay, oh Camille

Monsieur, away now, so that I may finally show you

Salut, my Rodin, how I burn to try my hand

At the clay under influence of your way

Letters will keep you abreast

Of my artist’s journey, of the calling’s quest

You gave me not when my talent you praised

But in the way you gazed to speak

Of a love you claimed would hold forever fast


Upon my return, love was least of your concern

You rather me undress

To model nakedly, to pose unmistakably

For the appeasement of that Rose’s demands:

“Slave for your work, labor your hands

My lover, Rodin” she’d say

But I bore you a daughter, then one became two

But these gifts simply exposed the deception in you

As you raged, embittered with resentment

As children would prove to be disruptions

To your rosy affair and the loss of contentment

Incited you to volatile eruptions,

Oh how life can be so unfair!


Mademoiselle Say you’ll stay, oh Camille

Monsieur, away to dungeons I chained her

Oh Rodin, you drove her to madness and now

I am but the frail embodiment of her sadness

Casting one skeletal shadow against the cell wall

Where my hands cry behind the glass

For touch of the door key

I entrusted to you as all-ruling warden

Whose abuse would be the end of me


Mademoiselle Say you’ll stay,

“Oh Camille”, you say, Monsieur Rodin?

“Camille, shape the clay again with your hands!

Breathe life into the marble; make this bronze into man!

Do not treat such talent with such misguided hate!

Do not debilitate such technique magnifique!

Come, my studio awaits what ideas we have to share

Come, come Camille, away with me there!”


Salut Monsieur! Your refusal to understand

Has banned these hands and the last

Work my heart heretofore commissioned was The Bust of Rodin

Rodin, genius of a man, whose hands mesmerized

An entire nation down even to the entirety

Of dreams seeking confirmation through me

Then into my hands, faithful to your resemblance from memory


When I boarded the train with effusive hopes of marrying

I wasted not a moment, hurrying back

From my journey having come into my own

Desiring to come into our home

Hope for family was disfigured upon my arrival

And oh Camille, how she withered away to be forever stifled

When your infidelity betrayed her

Oh, but not Rose!

For she was again in your hands

And I was yearning by vengeful urge churning anger’s insanity

Seething at this gross loveless inhumanity


Oh Rodin, I should have stolen my heart away

From your hands before they could manipulate its soft impression

Into love’s unyielding mold and oh how I paid when concessions I made

Weakened by your sensual plying, susceptible to your gentle wielding

Complying with your every licentious whim

When you begged by way of your charms

Mademoiselle Say you’ll stay” no more than persuasive speak

For luring me permanently into your arms


But so adventurous, so amorous,

So rapturous, so in love with us I was

And still, Camille’s cries for love echo from lightless chambers

As some feeling knows somehow you can hear her there

And are not wholly a sightless taker of adoration

And will unlock the door to rescue her from maddening despair

And will vow the husband’s affirmation of love’s care and reciprocation


Mademoiselle Say you’ll stay, oh Camille

Monsieur, Camille is but bones banished by my oath

By my seal, “Salut, oh Rodin!” she longed to say

When your wrathful tirades, your spewing scourge

Served to simply overtake her, muffling the cries

Destroying her desire to hear and to heed

Her need of the artist’s way and now,

I’m afraid it may be too late for maybe

I stayed too long, longing to be the Rose in your hands

And lover at once, over your arms to gaze into

The promise of truth in each other’s eyes

And I could have easily looked

Over your lengthy record of lies


Oh Rodin, shall I ever break free from memories

Of your endearing charms?

From imagining your love was always meant to last?

From reliving ethereal days long since past?


Oh Camille and oh the fated romance between one sculptress

And, oh Rodin, one manipulative man

How I can understand the pain of unconditional love

Ignored when your lover is instructor, is teacher, is Lord

But how torturous the pain of condemned hands

When you fear you know their bones may never be restored

When you fear his love must always be implored






Published by

Asha Gowan

I am an aspiring poet, novelist, musician, visual artist, and a die hard jazz enthusiast (partial to writing). I did not have a choice in the matter as both of my parents are creative to the core. Van Gogh beautifully painted the artist's portrait with his words: "The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others." I've made that ideal the primary catalyst for my work. Born as one of nature's esthetes, beauty is the goal of every song, every poem, every piece of art. Beauty that will touch the hearts and minds of others. I try to design my art to be healing and empathetic. I study and find intriguing people of all kinds, which informs a lot of my insights. I've drawn inspiration on the art of positivity, of spiritual uplifting from writers like Throeau, John Muir, Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman), the psalmist David, etc. Seeking a unique verve in my style, I make thorough investigations of all sorts of art and challenge myself to the hilt for the growth of my ingenuity. I am eager to share my musings with everyone here and wish to disseminate them. Thank you!