On the road to San Romano (1948) (translated)
Poetry is made in a bed like love. It's rumpled sheets are the dawn of things. Poetry is made in the woods.It has the space it needs.Not this one but the other one whose form is lent it by.The eye of the kite. The dew on a horsetail. The memory of a bottle frosted over on a silver tray. A tail rod of tourmaline on the sea. And the road of the mental adventure. That climbs abruptly. One halt and it's overgrown. That isn't to be shouted on the rooftops. It's improper to leave the door open. Or to summon witnesses. The shoals of fish the hedges of titmice. The rails at the entrance of the great station. The reflections of both riverbanks. The crevices in the bread. The bubbles in the stream. The days of the calendar. The Saint-John's wort. The act of love and the act of poetry. Are incompatible. With reading the paper out loud. The meaning of the sunbeam. The blue light between the hatchet blows. The bat's thread shaped like a a heart or a hoopnet. The beaver tails beating in time. The diligence of the flesh. The casting of candy from the old stairs. The avalanche. The room of marvels. No good Sirs it isn't the eighth Tribunal Chamber. Nor the vapours of the roomful some Sunday evening. The figures danced transparent above the pools.The outline of the wall of a woman's body at daggerthrow. The bright spirals of smoke. The curls of your hair. The curve of the Philippine sponge. The swaying of the coral snake. The ivy entrance in the ruins. It has all the time ahead . The embrace of poetry like that of the flesh. As long as it lasts. Shuts out any glimpse of the misery of the world
Maps on the dunes
To Giuseppe Ungaretti
The timetable of hollow flowers and prominent cheekbones invites us to leave volcanic salt shakers for birdbaths. On a red checkerboard napkin the days of the year are arranged. the air is no longer as pure, the road no longer as wide as the famous bugle. Perishable evenings, the place on a prie-dieu where knees go, are carried in a suitcase painted with fat wormy verses. Little corduroy bicycles revolve on the countertop. The fishes' ear, more forked than honeysuckle, hears blue oils coming down. Among sparkling burnouses whose charge gets lost in the curtains, i recognize a man who's blood of my blood.
To Gala Eluard
The nightwatch performs its usual now-you-see-it-now-you-don'ts in the dormitories. at night two multi-colored windows are left half open. Through the first, vices with black eyebrows creep in, young women doing penance go to the other to lean out. Otherwise nothing could disturb the pretty woodwork of sleep. we see hands putting on muffs of water. Blackberry bushes get tangled up on big empty beds while white pillows float on silences more apparent than real. At midnight the underground room fills with stars around the theaters, the ones where opera glasses play the leading roles. The garden's filled with nickel-plated bells. There's a message instead of a lizard beneath every stone.
Blotter of ash
To Robert Desnos.
The birds will be bored. If i'd forgotten something. Ring the bell of those last schooldays in the sea. What we'll call the pensive borage. We'll begin by giving the answer to the contest over how many tears can fit in a woman's hand. In an average hand while i crumple this starry newspaper and while the eternal flesh which has once and for all come into possession of the mountaintops. I dwell savagely in a little house in the vaucluse. my heart a letter of cachet
Not all of paradise is lost
To Man Ray
Weathercocks turn into crystal. They protect the dew with blows from their crests. Then that charming emblem the thunderbolt descends on the banner of the ruins. The sand is nothing but a phosphorescent clock that says midnight with the arms of a forgotten woman. No place of refuge turning in the countryside erected where the heavens advance and retreat. It's here the harsh blue temples of the villa's head bathe in the night that traces my images. Hair hair. Evil grows stronger nearby. but what does it want from us.
A thousand thousand times
To Francis Pacabia
Under cover of footsteps returning at evening to a tower inhabited by mysterious symbols
Eleven in number the snow that melts as I grasp it in my hand
This snow i love has dreams and i am one of those dreams
I who grant to day and night as much youth as they need
They are two gardens where my hands walk with nothing to do and while the eleven symbols rest i share a love which is a copper and silver mechanism in the hedges
I'm one of the most delicate gears in earthly love and earthly love hides the other loves the way the symbols hide the spirit from me
A lost stab whizzes past the walker's ear i've stripped the sky like a marvelous bed
My arm hangs from the sky with a rosary of stars descending day by day whose first bead will disappear into the sea instead of my vivid colors
Soon there won't be anything but snow on the sea
The symbols appear at the door they are eleven different colors and their respective dimensions would make you die of pity
One of them has to bend down and cross its arms to enter the tower i hear another one on fire in a prosperous region and this one on horseback riding industry
The uncommon mountainous industry like the wild donkey that feeds on trout
The hair the long dappled hair characterizes the symbol wearing the doubly ogival buckler beware of the idea rolled along by mountain streams
My construction my beautiful construction page by page house insanely glazed in the wide open sky the wide open earth it's a fault in the rock suspended by rings from the curtain rod of the world it's a metallic curtain that comes down on divine inscriptions that you don't know how to read
The symbols have never affected anyone but me i am born in the infinite disorder of prayers
I live and die from one end of this line to the other that strangely measured line which connects my heart to the ledge of your window through it i communicate with all the prisoners in the world