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Best Famous Paul Eluard Poems

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by Paul Eluard |

The River

 The river I have under my tongue,
Unimaginable water, my little boat,
And curtains lowered, let's speak.


by Paul Eluard |

The Nakedness of Truth (I know it well)

 Despair has no wings,
Nor has love,
No countenance:
They do not speak.
I do not stir,
I do not behold them,
I do not speak to them,
But I am as real as my love and my despair.


by Paul Eluard |

The Human Face

 I. Soon 

Of all the springtimes of the world 
This one is the ugliest 
Of all of my ways of being 
To be trusting is the best 

Grass pushes up snow 
Like the stone of a tomb 
But I sleep within the storm 
And awaken eyes bright 

Slowness, brief time ends 
Where all streets must pass 
Through my innermost recesses 
So that I would meet someone 

I don’t listen to monsters 
I know them and all that they say 
I see only beautiful faces 
Good faces, sure of themselves 
Certain soon to ruin their masters 

II. The women’s role 

As they sing, the maids dash forward 
To tidy up the killing fields 
Well-powdered girls, quickly to their knees 

Their hands -- reaching for the fresh air -- 
Are blue like never before 
What a glorious day! 

Look at their hands, the dead 
Look at their liquid eyes 

This is the toilet of transience 
The final toilet of life 
Stones sink and disappear 
In the vast, primal waters 
The final toilet of time 

Hardly a memory remains 
the dried-up well of virtue 
In the long, oppressive absences 
One surrenders to tender flesh 
Under the spell of weakness 

III. As deep as the silence 

As deep as the silence 
Of a corpse under ground 
With nothing but darkness in mind 

As dull and deaf 
As autumn by the pond 
Covered with stale shame 

Poison, deprived of its flower 
And of its golden beasts 
out its night onto man 

IV. Patience 

You, my patient one 
My patience 
My parent 
Head held high and proudly 
Organ of the sluggish night 
Bow down 
Concealing all of heaven 
And its favor 
Prepare for vengeance 
A bed where I'll be born 

V. First march, the voice of another 

Laughing at sky and planets 
Drunk with their confidence 
The wise men wish for sons 
And for sons from their sons 

Until they all perish in vain 
Time burdens only fools 
While Hell alone prospers 
And the wise men are absurd 

VI. A wolf 

Day surprises me and night scares me 
haunts me and winter follows me 
An animal walking on the snow has placed 
Its paws in the sand or in the mud 

Its paws have traveled 
From further afar than my own steps 
On a path where death 
Has the imprints of life 

VII. A flawless fire 

The threat under the red sky 
Came from below -- jaws 
And scales and links 
Of a slippery, heavy chain 

Life was spread about generously 
So that death took seriously 
The debt it was paid without a thought 

Death was the God of love 
And the conquerors in a kiss 
Swooned upon their victims 
Corruption gained courage 

And yet, beneath the red sky 
Under the appetites for blood 
Under the dismal starvation 
The cavern closed 

The kind earth filled 
The graves dug in advance 
Children were no longer afraid 
Of maternal depths 

And madness and stupidity 
And vulgarity make way 
For humankind and brotherhood 
No longer fighting against life -- 
For an everlasting humankind 

VIII. Liberty 

On my school notebooks 
On my desk, on the trees 
On the sand, on the snow 
I write your name 
On all the read pages 
On all the empty pages 
Stone, blood, paper or ash 
I write your name 

On the golden images 
On the weapons of warriors 
On the crown of kings 
I write your name 

On the jungle and the desert 
On the nests, on the broom 
On the echo of my childhood 
I write your name 

On the wonders of nights 
On the white bread of days 
On the seasons betrothed 
I write your name 

d'azur On all my blue rags 
On the sun-molded pond 
On the moon-enlivened lake 
I write your name 

On the fields, on the horizon 
On the wings of birds 
And on the mill of shadows 
I write your name 

On every burst of dawn 
On the sea, on the boats 
On the insane mountain 
I write your name 

On the foam of clouds 
On the sweat of the storm 
On the rain, thick and insipid 
I write your name 

On the shimmering shapes 
On the colorful bells 
On the physical truth 
I write your name

On the alert pathways 
On the wide-spread roads 
On the overflowing places 
I write your name 

On the lamp that is ignited 
On the lamp that is dimmed 
On my reunited houses 
I write your name 

On the fruit cut in two 
Of the mirror and of my room 
On my bed, an empty shell 
I write your name 

On my dog, young and greedy 
On his pricked-up ears 
On his clumsy paw 
I write your name 

On the springboard of my door 
On the familiar objects 
On the wave of blessed fire 
I write your name 

On all harmonious flesh 
On the face of my friends 
On every out-stretched hand 
I write your name 

On the window-pane of surprises 
On the careful lips 
Well-above silence 
I write your name 

On my destroyed shelter 
On my collapsed beacon 
On the walls of my weariness 
I write your name 

On absence without want 
On naked solitude 
On the steps of death 
I write your name 

On regained health 
On vanished risk 
On hope free from memory 
I write your name 

And by the power of one word 
I begin my life again 
I am born to know you 

To call you by name: Liberty!


by Paul Eluard |

The Deaf and Blind

 Do we reach the sea with clocks 
In our pockets, with the noise of the sea 
In the sea, or are we the carriers 
Of a purer and more silent water? 

The water rubbing against our hands sharpens knives. 
The warriors have found their weapons in the waves 
And the sound of their blows is like 
The rocks that smash the boats at night. 

It is the storm and the thunder. Why not the silence 
Of the flood, for we have dreamt within us 
Space for the greatest silence and we breathe 
Like the wind over terrible seas, like the wind 

That creeps slowly over every horizon.


by Paul Eluard |

The Absence

 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.


by Paul Eluard |

Other Children

 "Little child of my five senses 
and of my tenderness." 
Let us cradle our loves, 
We will have good children. 
Well cared for, 
We will fear nothing on earth, 
Happiness, good fortune, prudence, 
Our loves 

And this leap from age to age, 
From the order of a child to that of an old man, 
Will not diminish us. 
(Confidence).


by Paul Eluard |

Lady Love

 She is standing on my eyelids
And her hair is in my hair
She has the color of my eye
She has the body of my hand
In my shade she is engulfed
As a stone against the sky

She will never close her eyes
And she does not let me sleep
And her dreams in the bright day
Make the suns evaporate
And me laugh cry and laugh
Speak when I have nothing to say


by Paul Eluard |

Five Haiku

 The wind 
Undecided 
Rolls a cigarette of air 

The mute girl talks: 
It is art's imperfection. 
This impenetrable speech. 

The motor car is truly launched: 
Four martyrs' heads 
Roll under the wheels. 

Ah! a thousand flames, a fire, 
The light, a shadow! 
The sun is following me. 

A feather gives to a hat 
A touch of lightness: 
The chimney smokes.


by Paul Eluard |

Curfew

 What else could we do, for the doors were guarded,
What else could we do, for they had imprisoned us,
What else could we do, for the streets were forbidden us,
What else could we do, for the town was asleep?
What else could we do, for she hungered and thirsted,
What else could we do, for we were defenceless,
What else could we do, for night had descended,
What else could we do, for we were in love?


by Paul Eluard |

At the Window

 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.