Paul luard


Twenty-Four Poems


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Translated by A. S. Kline 2001 All Rights Reserved

This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.



Absence. 3

Easy. 4

Talking of Power and Love. 5

The Beloved. 6

Max Ernst7

Series. 8

Obsession. 9

Nearer To Us. 10

Open Door11

The Immediate Life. 12

Lovely And Lifelike. 13

The Season of Loves. 14

As Far As My Eye Can See In My Bodyís Senses. 15

Barely Disfigured. 16

In A New Night17

Fertile Eyes. 18

I Said It To You. 19

Itís The Sweet Law Of Men. 20

The Curve Of Your Eyes. 21

Liberty. 22

Ring Of Peace. 25

Ecstasy. 26

Our Life. 27

Uninterrupted Poetry. 28

Index of First Lines. 30




I speak to you over cities

I speak to you over plains


My mouth is against your ear


The two sides of the walls face

my voice which acknowledges you.


I speak to you of eternity.


O cities memories of cities

cities draped with our desires

cities early and late

cities strong cities intimate

stripped of all their makers

their thinkers their phantoms


Landscape ruled by emerald

live living ever-living

the wheat of the sky on our earth

nourishes my voice I dream and cry

I laugh and dream between the flames

between the clusters of sunlight


And over my body your body extends

the layer of its clear mirror.







Easy and beautiful under

your eyelids

As the meeting of pleasure

Dance and the rest


I spoke the fever


The best reason for fire

That you might be pale and luminous

A thousand fruitful poses

A thousand ravaged embraces

Repeated move to erase themselves

You grow dark you unveil yourself

A mask you

control it


It deeply resembles you

And you seem nothing but lovelier naked

Naked in shadow and dazzlingly naked

Like a sky shivering with flashes of lightning

You reveal yourself to you

To reveal yourself to others





Talking of Power and Love


Between all my torments between death and self

Between my despair and the reason for living

There is injustice and this evil of men

That I cannot accept there is my anger


There are the blood-coloured fighters of Spain

There are the sky-coloured fighters of Greece

The bread the blood the sky and the right to hope

For all the innocents who hate evil


The light is always close to dying

Life always ready to become earth

But spring is reborn that is never done with

A bud lifts from dark and the warmth settles


And the warmth will have the right of the selfish

Their atrophied senses will not resist

I hear the fire talk lightly of coolness

I hear a man speak what he has not known


You who were my fleshís sensitive conscience

You I love forever you who made me

You will not tolerate oppression or injury

Youíll sing in dream of earthly happiness

Youíll dream of freedom and Iíll continue you




The Beloved


She is standing on my eyelids

And her hair is wound in mine,

She has the form of my hands,

She has the colour of my eyes,

She is swallowed by my shadow

Like a stone against the sky.


Her eyes are always open

And will not let me sleep.

Her dreams in broad daylight

Make the suns evaporate

Make me laugh, cry and laugh,

Speak with nothing to say.



Max Ernst


In one corner agile incest

Turns round the virginity of a little dress

In one corner sky released

leaves balls of white on the spines of storm.


In one corner bright with all the eyes

One awaits the fish of anguish.

In one corner the car of summerís greenery

gloriously motionless forever.


In the glow of youth

lamps lit too late.

The first one shows her breasts that kill the insects that are red.






For the splendour of the day of happinesses in the air

To live the taste of colours easily

To enjoy loves so as to laugh

To open eyes at the final moment


She has every willingness.






After years of wisdom

During which the world was transparent as a needle

Was it cooing about something else?

After having vied with returned favours squandered treasure

More than a red lip with a red tip

And more than a white leg with a white foot

Where then do we think we are?



Nearer To Us


Run and run towards deliverance

And find and gather everything

Deliverance and riches

Run so quickly the thread breaks

With the sound a great bird makes

A flag always soared beyond



Open Door


Life is truly kind

Come to me, if I go to you itís a game,

The angels of bouquets grant the flowers a change of hue.



The Immediate Life


Whatís become of you why this white hair and pink

Why this forehead these eyes rent apart heart-rending

The great misunderstanding of the marriage of radium

Solitude chases me with its rancour.



Lovely And Lifelike


A face at the end of the day

A cradle in dayís dead leaves

A bouquet of naked rain

Every ray of sun hidden

Every fount of founts in the depths of the water

Every mirror of mirrors broken

A face in the scales of silence

A pebble among other pebbles

For the leaves last glimmers of day

A face like all the forgotten faces.



The Season of Loves


By the road of ways

In the three-part shadow of troubled sleep

I come to you the double the multiple

as like you as the era of deltas.


Your head is as tiny as mine

The nearby sea reigns with spring

Over the summers of your fragile form

And here one burns bundles of ermine.


In the wandering transparency

of your noble face

these floating animals are wonderful

I envy their candour their inexperience

Your inexperience on the bed of waters

Finds the road of love without bowing


By the road of ways

and without the talisman that reveals

your laughter at the crowd of women

and your tears no one wants.



As Far As My Eye Can See In My Bodyís Senses


All the trees all their branches all of their leaves

The grass at the foot of the rocks and the houses en masse

Far off the sea that your eye bathes

These images of day after day

The vices the virtues so imperfect

The transparency of men passing among them by chance

And passing women breathed by your elegant obstinacies

Your obsessions in a heart of lead on virgin lips

The vices the virtues so imperfect

The likeness of looks of permission with eyes you conquer

The confusion of bodies wearinesses ardours

The imitation of words attitudes ideas

The vices the virtues so imperfect


Love is man incomplete



Barely Disfigured


Adieu Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse

Farewell Sadness

Hello Sadness

You are inscribed in the lines on the ceiling

You are inscribed in the eyes that I love

You are not poverty absolutely

Since the poorest of lips denounce you

Ah with a smile

Bonjour Tristesse

Love of kind bodies

Power of love

From which kindness rises

Like a bodiless monster

Unattached head

Sadness beautiful face.



In A New Night


Woman Iíve lived with

Woman I live with

Woman Iíll live with

Always the same

You need a red cloak

Red gloves a red mask

And dark stockings

The reasons the proofs

Of seeing you quite naked

Nudity pure O ready finery


Breasts O my heart



Fertile Eyes


Fertile Eyes

No one can know me more

More than you know me


Your eyes in which we sleep

The two of them

Have cast a spell on my male orbs

Greater than worldly nights


Your eyes where I voyage

Have given the road-signs

Directions detached from the earth


In your eyes those that show us

Our infinite solitude

Is no more than they think exists


No one can know me more

More than you know me.

I Said It To You


I said it to you for the clouds

I said it to you for the tree of the sea

For each wave for the birds in the leaves

For the pebbles of sound

For familiar hands

For the eye that becomes landscape or face

And sleep returns it the heaven of its colour

For all that night drank

For the network of roads

For the open window for a bare forehead

I said it to you for your thoughts for your words

Every caress every trust survives.

Itís The Sweet Law Of Men


Itís the sweet law of men

They make wine from grapes

They make fire from coal

They make men from kisses


Itís the true law of men

Kept intact despite

the misery and war

despite danger of death


Itís the warm law of men

To change water to light

Dream to reality

Enemies to friends


A law old and new

That perfects itself

From the childís heartís depths

To reasonís heights.



The Curve Of Your Eyes


The curve of your eyes embraces my heart

A ring of sweetness and dance

halo of time, sure nocturnal cradle,

And if I no longer know all I have lived through

Itís that your eyes have not always been mine.


Leaves of day and moss of dew,

Reeds of breeze, smiles perfumed,

Wings covering the world of light,

Boats charged with sky and sea,

Hunters of sound and sources of colour


Perfume enclosed by a covey of dawns

that beds forever on the straw of stars,

As the day depends on innocence

The whole world depends on your pure eyes

And all my blood flows under their sight.






On my notebooks from school

On my desk and the trees

On the sand on the snow

I write your name


On every page read

On all the white sheets

Stone blood paper or ash

I write your name


On the golden images

On the soldierís weapons

On the crowns of kings

I write your name


On the jungle the desert

The nests and the bushes

On the echo of childhood

I write your name


On the wonder of nights

On the white bread of days

On the seasons engaged

I write your name


On all my blue rags

On the pond mildewed sun

On the lake living moon

I write your name


On the fields the horizon

The wings of the birds

On the windmill of shadows

I write your name


On the foam of the clouds

On the sweat of the storm

On dark insipid rain

I write your name


On the glittering forms

On the bells of colour

On physical truth

I write your name


On the wakened paths

On the opened ways

On the scattered places

I write your name


On the lamp that gives light

On the lamp that is drowned

On my house reunited

I write your name


On the bisected fruit

Of my mirror and room

On my bedís empty shell

I write your name


On my dog greedy tender

On his listening ears

On his awkward paws

I write your name


On the sill of my door

On familiar things

On the fireís sacred stream

I write your name


On all flesh thatís in tune

On the brows of my friends

On each hand that extends

I write your name


On the glass of surprises

On lips that attend

High over the silence

I write your name


On my ravaged refuges

On my fallen lighthouses

On the walls of my boredom

I write your name


On passionless absence

On naked solitude

On the marches of death

I write your name


On health thatís regained

On danger thatís past

On hope without memories

I write your name


By the power of the word

I regain my life

I was born to know you

And to name you



Ring Of Peace


I have passed the doors of coldness

The doors of my bitterness

To come and kiss your lips


City reduced to a room

Where the absurd tide of evil

leaves a reassuring foam


Ring of peace I have only you

You teach me again what it is

To be human when I renounce


Knowing whether I have fellow creatures







I am in front of this feminine land

Like a child in front of the fire

Smiling vaguely with tears in my eyes

In front of this land where all moves in me

Where mirrors mist where mirrors clear

Reflecting two nude bodies season on season


Iíve so many reasons to lose myself

On this road-less earth under horizon-less skies

Good reasons I ignored yesterday

And Iíll never ever forget

Good keys of gazes keys their own daughters

in front of this land where nature is mine


In front of the fire the first fire

Good mistress reason

Identified star

On earth under sky in and out of my heart

Second bud first green leaf

That the sea covers with sails

And the sun finally coming to us


I am in front of this feminine land

Like a branch in the fire.



Our Life


Weíll not reach the goal one by one but in pairs

We know in pairs we will know all about us

Weíll love everything our children will smile

At the dark history or mourn alone



Uninterrupted Poetry


From the sea to the source

From mountain to plain

Runs the phantom of life

The foul shadow of death

But between us

A dawn of ardent flesh is born

And exact good

that sets the earth in order

We advance with calm step

And nature salutes us

The day embodies our colours

Fire our eyes the sea our union

And all living resemble us

All the living we love

Imaginary the others

Wrong and defined by their birth

But we must struggle against them

They live by dagger blows

They speak like a broken chair

Their lips tremble with joy

At the echo of leaden bells

At the muteness of dark gold

A lone heart not a heart

A lone heart all the hearts

And the bodies every star

In a sky filled with stars

In a career in movement

Of light and of glances

Our weight shines on the earth

Glaze of desire

To sing of human shores

For you the living I love

And for all those that we love

That have no desire but to love

Iíll end truly by barring the road

Afloat with enforced dreams

Iíll end truly by finding myself

Weíll take possession of earth


Index of First Lines


I speak to you over cities. 3

Easy and beautiful under4

Between all my torments between death and self5

She is standing on my eyelids. 6

In one corner agile incest7

For the splendour of the day of happinesses in the air8

After years of wisdom.. 9

Run and run towards deliverance. 10

Life is truly kind. 11

Whatís become of you why this white hair and pink. 12

A face at the end of the day. 13

By the road of ways. 14

All the trees all their branches all of their leaves. 15

Adieu Tristesse. 16

Woman Iíve lived with. 17

Fertile Eyes. 18

I said it to you for the clouds. 19

Itís the sweet law of men. 20

The curve of your eyes embraces my heart21

On my notebooks from school22

I have passed the doors of coldness. 25

I am in front of this feminine land. 26

Weíll not reach the goal one by one but in pairs. 27

From the sea to the source. 28