"MARLENE DIETRICH! YOUR NAME STARTS WITH A CARESS AND ENDS WITH A WHIP" COCTEAU, JEAN. Autograph Manuscript Signed, working draft of his poem, 'Tribute of Jean Cocteau to Marlene Dietrich,' in French, with several holograph deletions and additions throughout. 3 pages, folio, written on rectos of separate sheets, loose-leaf spiral notebook paper; remnants of prior mounting at upper edges verso, minor loss at upper left corners, toning at extreme upper and lower edges. Np, [circa 1954]
"Marlene Dietrich! Your name starts with a caress and ends with a whip. You wear feathers and furs, which seem to belong to your heart like the furs of the wild beasts and the feathers of the birds. Your voice and your eyes are those of the Lorelei, but Lorelei was dangerous. . . ." This poem was likely written for Dietrich's appearance at the Polio Gala on August 17, 1954, held at the Sporting d'Été in Monte Carlo, where Jean Marais read it to the audience. A slightly edited version of the poem was published in the program printed for Dietrich's tour in late January 1975, during which she performed in Brussels, Amsterdam, and Antwerp. Property of the family of Marlene Dietrich.