La terre est bleue comme une orange

The opening line of this poem by Paul Eluard is one of those which make, you, laugh, gasp, wonder, think and then you get it; like Magritte’s famous painting, Ceci n’est pas une pipe. And when it is followed up by the second line, which seemingly insists on the literal truth of the first line, it makes you think again.

This is the poet declaring war on the human need to create patterns, to fill in gaps, to tie meaning to experience and to reject chaos and randomness. I’m with the poet Eluard here.

So the earth is blue, or as a TV documentary series would tell us, it is a “Blue Planet” – but of course shaped like an orange.

La terre est bleue

La terre est bleue comme une orange
Jamais une erreur les mots ne mentent pas
Ils ne vous donnent plus à chanter
Au tour des baisers de s’entendre
Les fous et les amours
Elle sa bouche d’alliance
Tous les secrets tous les sourires
Et quels vêtements d’indulgence
À la croire toute nue.

Les guêpes fleurissent vert
L’aube se passe autour du cou
Un collier de fenêtres
Des ailes couvrent les feuilles
Tu as toutes les joies solaires
Tout le soleil sur la terre
Sur les chemins de ta beauté.

Paul Eluard, L’amour la poésie, 1929

From <;

There follows a dazzling sequence of allusions to love, beauty and truth, in which the poem comes alive and leaves the reader feeling more alive than when he began the poem. It is an abstract painting by Miro, a run into space by Messi, a smile from the pretty girl across the room.

The Poetry Dude


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