by Paul Éluard
(from Les Malheurs des Immortels)
translated from the French by Ira Sadoff
They ran up at the first sign. Their enthusiasm scattered little
varnished flags on the marble slabs of the summits. Alone, one indifferent…
By a miracle, the strongest became powerless. He mechanically rolled up the ribbons of his fingers with the branches of towers and distress, swore to be quiet, appreciated the cries of children, his hunger, his thirst and his money. In the spring he cultivated his own garden, armed with a vase…
In the asylum the old people, crying, embraced their companions in captivity, their lascivious brothers. With the house full of sable, the window broke and they had no one to close the shutters.
One still asks oneself who told them not to worry any longer about the rest.
Paul Éluard needs no introduction from us.
Ira Sadoff’s first book, Settling Down, will be issued by Houghton Mifflin this spring. (Spring 1975)