Absence

By Paul Eluard

I speak to you across cities
I speak to you across plains

My mouth is upon your pillow

Both faces of the walls come meeting
My voice discovering you

I speak to you of eternity

O cities memories of cities
Cities wrapped in our desires
Cities come early cities come lately
Cities strong and cities secret
Plundered of their master’s builders
All their thinkers all their ghosts

Fields pattern of emerald
Bright living surviving
The harvest of the sky over our earth
Feeds my voice I dream and weep
I laugh and dream among the flames
Among the clusters of the sun

And over my body your body spreads
The sheet of it’s bright mirror.

Separation. Edvard Munch. 1896.

Separation. Edvard Munch. 1896.

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At The Window

By Paul Eluard

I have not always had this certainty, this pessimism which reassures the best among us. There was
a time when my friends laughed at me. I was not the master of my words. A certain indifference, I
have not always known well what I wanted to say, but most often it was because I had nothing to
say. The necessity of speaking and the desire not to be heard. My life hanging only by a thread.

There was a time when I seemed to understand nothing. My chains floated on the water.

All my desires are born of my dreams. And I have proven my love with words. To what fantastic
creatures have I entrusted myself, in what dolorous and ravishing world has my imagination
enclosed me? I am sure of having been loved in the most mysterious of domains, my own. The
language of my love does not belong to human language, my human body does not touch the flesh
of my love. My amorous imagination has always been constant and high enough so that nothing
could attempt to convince me of error.