the death of guillaume apollinaire

we know nothing
we knew nothing of grief

the bitter season of cold

digs long furrows in our muscles

he would have preferred the joy of victory

wise under calm sorrows    caged
unable to do anything at all

if snow fell upward

if the sun rose to meet us during the night

to warm us

and trees hung with their crown upside down

—unique teardrop—

if birds were here with us to contemplate themselves

in the tranquil lake above our heads


death would be a beautiful long voyage

and an unlimited vacation from the flesh of structures and of bones.

Tristan Tzara


music of spheres

He was walking a frozen road
in his pocket iron keys were jingling
and with his pointed shoe absentmindedly
he kicked the cylinder
of an old can
which for a few seconds rolled its cold emptiness
wobbled for a while and stopped
under a sky studded with stars.

Jean Follain

the human species

The human species has given me
the right to be mortal
the duty to be civilized
a conscience
2 eyes that don’t always function very well
a nose in the middle of my face
2 feet 2 hands

the human species has given me
my father and mother
some brothers maybe who knows
a whole mess of cousins
and some great-grandfathers
the human species has given me
its 3 faculties
feeling intellect and will
each in moderation 32 teeth and 10 fingers a liver
a heart and some other viscera
human species has given me
what I’m supposed to be satisfied with

Raymond Queneau


Music often takes me like a sea
and I set out
under mist or a transparent sky
for my pale star;

I run before the wind as if I had
laid on full sail,
climbing the mountainous backs of the waves,
plummeting down

in darkness, eardrums throbbing as I feel
the coming wreck;
fair winds or foul – a raging storm

on the great deep my cradle,
and dead calm the looking-glass
of my despair.

Charles Baudelaire

the cloud

Lightly in the azure air
Soars a cloud, emerging free
Like a virgin from the fair
Blue sea;

Or an Aphrodite sweet,
Floating upright and empearled
In the shell, about its feet

Undulating overhead,
How its changing body glows!
On its shoulder dawn hath spread
A rose.

Marble, snow, blend amorously
In that form by sunlight kissed—
Slumbering Antiope
Of mist!

Sailing unto distant goal,
Over Alps and Apennines,
Sister of the woman-soul,
It shines;

Till my heart flies forth at last
On the wings of passion warm,
And I yearn to gather fast
Its form.

Reason saith: “Mere vapour thing!
Bursting bubble! Yet, we deem,
Holds this wind-distorted ring
Our dream.”

Faith declareth: “Beauty seen,
Like a cloud, is but a thought,
Or a breath, that, having been,
Is naught.

“Have thy vision. Build it proud.
Let thy soul be full thereof.
Love a woman—love a cloud—
But love!”

Théophile Gautier