Word Ways


Paul Maxim


Introduction. This article is the second in a series analyzing Mallarme's hermetic sonnet, Toute l'ame resumee (The whole soul summed up), which he published as "a game" in 1895. In the previous part (February 1996), we showed how the poem's internal dynamic processes are designed around a cryptogrammatic sequence which begins when the letters of la cendre ('ash') are subtracted from son clai baiser de feu ("it's bright kiss of fire"), so as to yield an eleven-letter residue, SOIR BAIS FEU which is then subjected to further processing.