Paul Eluard

(14 December 1895 – 18 November 1952 / Saint Denis / Paris)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • James Frederick (11/10/2008 12:09:00 AM)

    I love this line: 'There was a time when I seemed to understand nothing. My chains floated on the water'.

    I take it to mean that the heavy responsibility and depth of being human was just automatic for him; without knowing how, he floated along despite his weight. I feel it would be wise to examine ones weight—to learn how to speak of ones own depth. (Report) Reply

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