July 27th, 2014

wolfinthewood: Wolf's head in relief from romanesque tympanum at Kilpeck, Herefordshire (Default)
Festival

[1915]

To André Rouveyre*

Fireworks in steel
How bewitching this illumination is
  A firework-maker's art
To mix with bravery a little grace

Two star-shells
A burst of rose
Like two breasts just unlaced
Stretch their tips out saucily
HE KNEW HOW TO LOVE
                           what an epitaph

A poet in the forest
Gazes with indifference
   His revolver set to safety
On the roses dying of hope

He dreams of the roses of Saadi**
And suddenly his head drops
Because a rose repeats to him
The soft curve of a hip

The air is full of horrible alcohol
Filtered from half-closed stars
The shells caress the soft
Perfume of night where you are resting
     Mortification of the roses

*Writer and artist; friend of Apollinaire

**Mosleh al-Din Saadi Shirazi; Persian poet; fl. mid-thirteenth century. Author of The Rose Garden

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880–1918)

translation © Gillian Spraggs 2014

Original French )
wolfinthewood: Wolf's head in relief from romanesque tympanum at Kilpeck, Herefordshire (Default)
Festival

[1915]

To André Rouveyre*

Fireworks in steel
How bewitching this illumination is
  A firework-maker's art
To mix with bravery a little grace

Two star-shells
A burst of rose
Like two breasts just unlaced
Stretch their tips out saucily
HE KNEW HOW TO LOVE
                           what an epitaph

A poet in the forest
Gazes with indifference
   His revolver set to safety
On the roses dying of hope

He dreams of the roses of Saadi**
And suddenly his head drops
Because a rose repeats to him
The soft curve of a hip

The air is full of horrible alcohol
Filtered from half-closed stars
The shells caress the soft
Perfume of night where you are resting
     Mortification of the roses

*Writer and artist; friend of Apollinaire

**Mosleh al-Din Saadi Shirazi; Persian poet; fl. mid-thirteenth century. Author of The Rose Garden

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880–1918)

translation © Gillian Spraggs 2014

Original French )