Tuesday, October 4, 2011

from “Poem to Shout in the Ruins,” Louis Aragon

Louis Aragon (1897-1982)

from "Poem to Shout in the Ruins"
(Louis Aragon)
Let’s spit the two of us let’s spit
On what we loved
On what we loved the two of us
Yes because this poem the two of us
Is a waltz tune and I imagine
What is dark and incomparable passing between us
Like a dialogue of mirrors abandoned
In a baggage-claim somewhere say Foligno
Or Bourboule in the Auvergne
Certain names are charged with a distant thunder
Yes let’s spit the two of us on these immense landscapes
Where little rented cars cruise by
Yes because something must still
Some thing
Reconcile us yes let’s spit
The two of us it’s a waltz
A kind of convenient sob
Let’s spit let’s spit tiny automobiles
Let’s spit that’s an order
A waltz of mirrors
A dialogue in the void
Listen to these immense landscapes where the wind
Cries over what we loved
One of them is a horse leaning its elbow on the earth
The other a dead man shaking out linen the other
The trail of your footprints I remember a deserted village
On the shoulder of a scorched mountain
I remember your shoulder
I remember your elbow your linen your footprints
I remember a town where there was no horse
I remember your look which scorched
My deserted heart a dead Mazeppa whom a horse
Carries away like that day on the mountain
Drunkenness sped my run through the martyred oaks
Which bled prophetically while day
Light fell mute over the blue trucks
I remember so many things
So many evenings rooms walks rages
So many stops in worthless places
Where in spite of everything the spirit of mystery rose up
Like the cry of a blind child in a remote train depot

French writer and editor Louis Aragon was involved with the early 20th-century's major creative movements Dada and Surrealism. His writing included novels, essays, a long study of Matisse, and a translation of Lewis Carroll. In 1961 he supplied the answers to a Proust questionnaire: "If I’m indulgent towards something that passes for a fault that’s only because I don’t consider it one." When he came to the question, "how would you like to die?" Aragon answered, "differently."

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