Dvorak’s Rusalka. Source




Although the exam material that needs to be studied has piled up to the ceiling, I have to write my poems too. Going for inspiration in music. I want to write about Rusalka.
Beautiful and seductive female creature, Rusalka is the spirit of a drowned girl. Sometimes red-headed, dressed in white, they appear near water and lure the men to their doom. To read more about the Rusalka, you can also visit this blog.

Yet, Dvorak’s music does not inspire me for my Rusalka. It does not represent the Rusalka I have in mind. These two songs make me think about the becoming of Rusalka. In both songs, I find just the right amount of seduction, passion, despair, supernatural, and doom. Better yet, the whole situation has the potential to create a true Rusalka, one who’s rage and thirst of revenge I understand.



Indila – Dernière Danse





Indila – Tourner Dans Le Vide

Because this entry talks about my inspiration sources, I thought it would be appropriate to share a verse or two from the poem.

Fragments from Elena Rousseau’s poem Rusalka:

*   *   *

down from the marble of her shadowed shoulder

a wispy wreath of flowers’ white

weightlessly whirls

bare breath of

dying unbaptised babes

* *

She comes out of the waters


infinite tear-drop

wrapped in blue fog

the lake

a slice of sorrow

*   *   *

I behold her untamed, feral beauty

and all I think is



her lissom waist not break

under the heavy roundness of her breast?


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10 thoughts on “Rusalka

  1. The lore behind the Rusalka is beautiful. I didn’t understand anything in the songs but the imagery was beautiful and I can understand how it could be a muse for you to write about your Rusalka.

    Thank You for sharing!


    1. Thank you, Christine! The story is quite well illustrated by the clip so you might choose to let your imagination free for the details. Neither one of the songs has anything to do with a Rusalka but if I keep off the meaning of the words, I can see anything I like. What made me imagine the Rusalka is her turning into an underwater statue in the second song. All I had to do was to imagine that she might turn back at night to seek revenge. 🙂

  2. Beautiful songs, Elena! And I understood about every third word! haha 😉 Do you speak and understand French or do you just listen for the sound of her voice and the music?

    1. Thank you! She has an amazing voice, one can get inspired just by listening to her. But I do understand French. I never had a chance to talk except during classes (French classes, that is) and if I try alone, just like Christine was saying in her personal essay, my brain too, starts to mix in words or expressions from any other language I know. However, when I first listened to the songs, I had a few words I could not understand and I had to trust one of the numerous English translations out there.

  3. I absolutely love folklore and Rusalka is wonderful! I’d love to see that opera as well. Like Christine said, I don’t understand the songs, but they are beautiful and the second one instantly gave me goosebumps! I’m excited to read your poem about her:)


  4. Thank you, Janelle! The poem seems to be going into a rather unexpected direction. I’ve written it from the perspective of the young man lured by the Rusalka. It might change yet, it is only a draft, but most of the time they don’t change. I know what you mean, I can listen to it over and over again. The settings too, are so perfectly bizarre, I can’t have enough of that song.

      1. You’re right! It is nice to be surprised by a poem that has a mind of its own. This way, everything feels more… alive!

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