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Margaret Kollmer

(South Africa)

Je t'aime by Paul Eluard

I have used this poem for many years as an ongoing French lesson. Little by little I have learned to understand it and one day I hope to translate it thoroughly! It is so beautiful.

Je t’aime pour toutes les femmes que je n’ai pas connues
Je t’aime pour tous les temps ou je n’ai pas vecu
Pour l’odeur du grand large at l’odeur du pain chaud
Pour la neige qui fond pour les premiers fleurs.

Pour les animaux purs que les hommes n’effraient pas
Je t’aime pour aimer
Je t’aime pour toutes les femmes que je n’aime pas
Qui me reflete sinon toi-meme je me vois si peu
Sans toi je ne vois rien qu’une etendue deserte
Entre autrefois et aujourd’hui.

Il y a eu toutes ces morts que j’ai franchies sur de la paille
Je n’ai pas pu percer le mur de mon miroir
Il m’a pas fallu apprendre mot par mot la vie
Comme on oublie

Je t’aime pour ta sagesse qui n’est qu’illusion
pour ce coeur immortel que je ne detiens pas
Tu crois etre le doubt et tu n’es que raison
Tu es le grand soleil qui me monte a la tete
Quand je suis sur de moi.

Submitted: Sunday, March 30, 2008
Edited: Sunday, April 13, 2008

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