Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

14 February 2011

A Love Poem for Today

This is from Paul Éluard, translated by Patricia Terry and Mary Ann Caws:

FOREVER, ENTIRELY
(CELLE DE TOUJOURS, TOUTE)

If I tell you: "I've given up everything"
It's that she's not part of my body,
I've never boasted of it,
It isn't true
And the fog in the depths where I travel
Never knows if I've gone by.

The fan of her mouth, the brilliance of her eyes,
I'm the only one to speak of it,
I'm the only one framed
By this mirror so empty the air flows through me
And the air has a face, a beloved face,
A loving face, your face,
To you nameless and to the others, unknown,
The sea tells you: on me, the sky tells you: on me,
The stars find you out, the clouds imagine you
And blood spilled in the best moments,
The blood of generosity
Bears you with delight.
I sing the great joy of singing you,
The great joy of having you or not having you,
The candor of awaiting you, the innocence of knowing you,

Oh! You put an end to forgetfulness, ignorance, hope,
You put an end to absence, give birth to me,
I sing in order to sing, I love you in order to sing
The mystery by which love creates me and is set free.

You are pure, you are even purer than I.