Friday, 27 September 2013

Today's Poet: Lou Albert-Lasard - German

I am deeply indebted to Penelope Monkhouse, a German-British scientist who lives in Germany and is a granddaughter of the novelist, dramatist and literary critic Allan Monkhouse.

Penelope is carrying out a comparative literary study of German and English poetry.  Penelope is a poet herself and translates poetry into and from German and English.

Penelope contacted me some time ago via this weblog and offered to help me find German language poets.  She has written detailed biographies of several German language female poets of the First World War and has sent them to me and given me permission to use them - for which I am extremely grateful.

Today's poet, by kind permission of Penelope Monkhouse, is Lou Albert-Lasard (1885 - 1969).

Lou was born in Metz in Lorraine which, at the time of WW1, was in the German Empire.   She was an expressionist painter and her family were wealthy bankers.   Lou studied art in Munich and from 1912 worked for Ferdinand Leger in Paris in his studio.

In 1909 Lou married chemist/inventor Eugene Albert against her parents' wishes. Their daughter - Ingeborg - was born in 1911.   The marriage failed and Lou returned to Germany where she had an affair with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke.   They were both deeply upset by the War and Lou wrote a poem entitled "Kriegsausbruch" (Outbreak of War).

In 1928 Lou moved to Paris again and became part of the Montparnasse artist's scene.   She travelled extensively with her daughter.   In May 1940, Lou and her daughter were interned but released three months later.

During the 1950s Lou travelled again with her daughter.   She died in Paris in 1969.