Anthology · Classic · Collection · Excerpt · French Culture · French Literature · Passage · Poetry · Prose Poetry · Surrealism

André Breton

When the windows like the jackal’s eye and desire pierce the dawn, silken windlasses lift me up to suburban footbridges. I summon a girl who is dreaming in the little gilded house; she meets me on the piles of black moss and offers me her lips which are stones in the rapid river depths. Veiled forebodings descend the buildings’ steps. The best thing is to flee from the great feather cylinders when the hunters limp into the sodden lands. If you take a bath in the watery patterns of the streets, childhood returns to the country like a greyhound. Man seeks his prey in the breezes and the fruits are drying on the screens of pink paper, in the shadow of the names overgrown by forgetfulness. Joys and sorrows spread in the town. Gold and eucalyptus, similarly scented, attack dreams. Among the bridles and the dark edelweiss subterranean forms are resting like perfumers’ corks. — André Breton, from “Love in Parchment,” Poems of André Breton: A Bilingual Anthology (University of Texas Press, 1982)

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