Altered Book Quotes: Diary of a Chambermaid

Welcome to my blackout poetry quotes and altered prose from The Diary of a Chambermaid by Octave Mirbeau, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1900. This is a “collaboration” of Mr Mirbeau’s & Mr Tucker’s words and my selective removal of words. Wording is in the exact order as the book; the only modifications are punctuation and capitalization. Page numbers refer to the 2007 Harper Perennial paperback. Vive la poésie! —ღTerri

I long for a broad, black moustache—
manners, good-natured,
a man of genius, a man of elegance,
sympathetic, and smiling lips,
strength and good humor,
sensual, gentle, fun-loving,
with obscenity, and great kindness.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.1, p.22, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, “The Perfect Man,” 2016

Religion will soothe you
The chapel whispered psalms in my ears
Here is a beautiful sadness
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.3, p.44, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2016

I have gaiety in my heart —
      a little path winding between
      wild cherry trees and hawthorns;
      there is a river, hills, a forest
      all covered with a veil of fog
      which hides the landscape.
Nature — I have it in my blood, my soul.
I was born of melancholy into gaiety.
I smell powerfully of curiosity.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.3, p.45, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2016

He is always chopping words in to a bit of good advice. ~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.3, p.47, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, “Wordsmith,” 2016

God winks and has ideas;
I, too, have often dreamed of one tranquil future.
Oh! indeed, it is not pretty—
dark, rotten, ugly, ugly industry,
the manufacture of sadness:
It seems like a prison.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.3, p.49, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2016

The rose begins to mumble prayer,
to make genuflections to God.
Sin painfully drums, out of tune,
drowned and damaged.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.3, p.51, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, “The Rose & Sin,” 2016

I am made for joy—
all my senses jovial, young.
I require delicacy, poetry,
the beyond, and to be gentle.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.3, p.52, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2016

gratitude, pleasure
work, eating
pray, purpose
laugh, laugh, laugh
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.4, p.67, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, “Good Life,” 2016

Infinite summer—
a smile of joy in sunshine!
A moment of living filled my heart—
brilliant, jeweled, and marvelous.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.5, p.92, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2016

Vague hopes, pleasure and vice,
imaginations and dreams—
I have supped on them.
A naked soul—virtue and velvet,
a heart—joyous and lonely;
Solitude—a flower cared for tenderly.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.5, p.93, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2016

October breathed poetry —
      beautiful and glowing.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.7, p.141, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2018

Dawn is opportunity opening the door. ~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.6, p.97, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2018

Nature — astonishing and beautiful,
piercing the very depths of my soul.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.11, p.224, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2018

A bookmaker and a cup of tea,
getting drunk from stories.
~The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1891–1900, Octave Mirbeau, Ch.16, p.348, blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets, 2018