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Robert Desnos

(1900 - 1945 / Paris)

Identity of Images (Identité des images)


I am fighting furiously with animals and bottles
In a short time perhaps ten hours have passed one
after another
The beautiful swimmer who was afraid of coral wakes
this morning
Coral crowned with holly knocks on her door
Ah! coal again always coal
I conjure you coal tutelary genius of dreams and my
solitude let me let me speak again of the beautiful
swimmer who was afraid of coral
No longer tyrannize this seductive subject of my
dreams
The beautiful swimmer was reposing in a bed of lace
and birds
The clothes on a chair at the foot of the bed were
illuminated by gleams the last gleams of coal
The one that had come from the depths of the sky and
earth and sea was proud of its coral beak and great
wings of crape
All night long it had followed divergent funerals toward
suburban cemeteries
It had been to embassy balls marked white satin gowns with
its imprint a fern leaf
It had risen terribly before ships and the ships had not
returned
Now crouched in the chimney it was watching for the
waking of foam and singing of kettles
Its resounding step had disturbed the silence of nights
in streets with sonorous pavements
Sonorous coal coal master of dreams coal
Ah tell me where is that beautiful swimmer the swimmer
who was afraid of coral?
But the swimmer herself has gone back to sleep
And I remain face to face with the fire and shall remain
through the night interrogating the coal with wings of
darkness that persists in projecting on my monotonous
road the shadow of its smoke and the terrible
reflections of its embers
Sonorous coal coal pitiless coal

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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Read poems about / on: beautiful, solitude, identity, silence, fire, sleep, sea, night, sky, animal, dream, rose

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