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An excerpt from "To Pablo Picasso" 

by Paul Eluard translated by Jodey Bateman

I

   A great day - I saw again the one I don’t forget 
   Who I won’t forget 
   And the fleeting women whose eyes 
   Formed a guard of honor for me 
   Women wrapped up in their own smiles 
   A great day - I saw my carefree friends 
   Men who didn’t weigh in so heavy 
   One who passed by 
   Whose shadow had turned into a mouse 
   He fled into the gutter 

   A great day which began so sadly 
   Black under the green trees 
   But which was suddenly splashed with dawn 
   And entered my heart by surprise

 
II

   Show me that man always so gentle 
   Who said fingers make the earth rise 
   The rainbow in knots, the serpent in coils 
   The mirror of flesh which forms an infant on a pearl 
   Obedient nudes reducing distance 
   Loaded with desires and images 
   One folowing the other, hands of the same clock. 

   Show me the sky loaded with clouds 
   Which duplicates the world hidden under my eyelids 
   Show me the whole sky in a single star. 
   I see the earth well without being dazzled 
   The dark stones, the phantom grass 
   Those big glasses of water, those big blocks 
             of amber landscapes 
   The games of fire and ashes 
   The solemn geography of human limits 
   Show me also the black corsage 
   The hair pulled back, the lost eyes 
   Of those pure black girls who are passing 
   From here to elsewhere at my whim 
   Who are proud doors in the walls of this summer 
   Strange jars without liquid, all so virtuous 
   Made in vain for simple relationships 
   Show me the secrets which unify their temples 
   To those absent palaces which make the earth rise. 

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