Monday, November 17, 2014

Monique Morelli - Louis Aragon - Paris 42


Text: Louis Aragon
A song that speaks of an incurable ill
Sadder than at midnight the plaza of Italy
Alike to Point-du-Jour for the melancholy
More dreams at the fingers than the sandman
Announcing pleasure like a merchant of oblivion

A vulgar and sweet song where the voice lowers
Like a one night love doubting of the next day
A song that takes women by the hand
A song that is being said under the Barbès metro
And that changes at Etoile and goes down at Jasmin²

It's Paris that shadow theater that I carry
My Paris that couldn't completely be taken away from me
Not more than one could take to lips their shout
What had been required to threw me out of it
Tear me the heart and you will see Paris in it.

It's of that Paris that I made my poems
My words are of the weird colour of those roofs
The throat of the pigeons are cooing and glistening there
I have written more of you Paris than of myself
And more than of growing old suffered to be without you

Who hasn't seen the day rising up on the Seine
Ignores what is that heartbreak
When caught in the act the night fails itself
Defends itself, comes undone the red eyes obscene
And Notre-Dame comes out of the waters like a magnet

The aorta of the Pont Neuf shivers like an orchestra
Where I hear beginning the wine of my twenties
There blows here a wind that comes from the times of yesteryear
To die in the hair of the equestrian statue
The city like an heart opens itself double-doors.

The wind will whisper my verses to the waste grounds
It will brush against the benches where no one sat
We will hear it cry on the quays of Passy
And the bridges repeating the promise of the rings
will go away engaged to the following rhymes

Paris wakes up and I to find those myths back
That were burning our blood in our obscurity
I will put in my hands my irritated face
Let the song be reborn that the birds imitate
And which answers Paris when one says liberty

² Parisian metro stations

Jacques Marchais' version:

All poems written by Louis Aragon

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