mon reve familier gloria stetbay pop up

How does one write a song ? How does one compose an original tune ? I have often been asked this question but I have no relevant answer to propose. Composing a song remains a complete mystery to me, it has no rational explanation whatsoever. Inspiration is a hard word to define and finding it is always unintentional. It comes up spontaneously provided that you are in a creative mood.     

Gloria Stetbay


“My Familiar Dream” is one of the most famous poems written by Paul Verlaine. The sonnet was published in 1866 in the book entitled Saturnian Poems. It is taken from the first section of the volume called Melancholia. It represents an idealized image of women.

My familiar dream. Verlaine. 

I often have this strange and striking dream :
Some woman, whom I love, and who loves me ;
Loves me and understds; not utterly;
Different each time, not utterly the same.

She understands me, she alone, and clears
My clouded heart, uncomplicated now
For her alone; my damp and pallid brow
She, she alone, can freshen, with her tears.

Her hair: brown, blonde or auburn? I don’t know.
Her name resembles music sweet and low,
Like names of loved ones Life has sent away;

Her gaze is like a statue’s, and her tone
Of voice is distant, calm, and grave: you’d say,
Like those dear voices that are hushed and gone.

Translated by Timothy Adès