Derniers poèmes d’amour.

A love poem seems appropriate as we approach midsummer. Here is a nice one from Paul Eluard in which the title is a bit more detached from the theme of the poem than the first line, which both declares the theme of the poem but retains a little bit of mystery. Is this a last love poem because the poet is falling out lo love, because the season for love is ending or because his current love affair is so perfect that he will never need to write another poem, just live happily ever after?

With a lively air, here is “Air vif”…

Air vif

Derniers poèmes d’amour.
J’ai regardé devant moi
Dans la foule je t’ai vue
Parmi les blés je t’ai vue
Sous un arbre je t’ai vue
Au bout de tous mes voyages
Au fond de tous mes tourments
Au tournant de tous les rires
Sortant de l’eau et du feu
L’été l’hiver je t’ai vue
Dans ma maison je t’ai vue
Entre mes bras je t’ai vue
Dans mes rêves je t’ai vue
Je ne te quitterai plus.

Paul Eluard

From <;

It is the accumulation of images which communicate the poet’s intensity of feeling here. In spite of looking straight ahead, there follows a whole series of places and circumstances where “I saw you…”. “Je t’ai vue…” – he can’t help seeing or visualising his lover wherever he is. And this feeling of her ever-presence follows him on long journeys, into moments of despair, in moments of joy, in all seasons, in all weathers. This is what it feels like to be madly in love, and perhaps this is the real reason why the poet feels he can never write another love poem – here he has said it all.

The Poetry Dude


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