Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wallis and Futuna: Ronsard

Wallis and Futuna is a French-related island nation in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean. It has had a complicated history. For several years it was a "French overseas territory." Since 2003 it has been termed a "French overseas collectivity." The land area of these islands is barely 50 square miles; the population is around 12,000 persons.

The present stamp was issued in 1985 (Scott #329), 300 years after the death of the stamp's subject, Pierre de Ronsard. Ronsard was a French poet. He is best known for his "love poetry" and his masterful use of language and meter.

The stamp features an image of Ronsard, in silhouette, super-imposed over a compelling drawing. A woman is standing at a table of some type, and is shown playing a positiv organ. A man's face peers over the row of pipes. He may be manipulating the pump for the organ, or perhaps is merely a listener to the music. A curious face (human or animal?) is placed before the table, on the border between the silhouette of Ronsard and the drawing of the woman and organ. I suspect the drawing is an illustration of a scene from one of Rosard's writings. But as I am not at all fmailiar with his oeuvre, I cannot but suppose. There doesn't seem to be any relationship between Ronsard himself and music, let alone the organ. Perhaps someone more familiar with his writings can clarify if this may be a scene from one of the writers works.

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