The Library paraethos contact us
So much like the flower and the current of air
like the waterway like the shadows passing everywhere
like the smile glimpsed this amazing evening at midnight
so much like everything happiness and sadness
it's yesterday's midnight lifting its naked torso above belfries and poplars
I'm calling those lost in the countryside
the old corpses the young oaks just cut down
the shreds of fabric rotting on the ground and linen drying in the farmyards
I'm calling tornadoes and hurricanes
tempests typhoons and cyclones
riptides
earthquakes
I'm calling the smoke of volcanoes and cigarettes
the smoke rings of fancy cigars
I'm calling loves and lovers
I'm calling the living and the dead
I'm calling the gravediggers I'm calling the murderers
I'm calling the executioners I'm calling the pilots the masons the architects
I'm calling the flesh
I'm calling the one I love
I'm calling the one I love
I'm calling the one I love
triumphant midnight unfolds its satin wings and lands on my bed
belfries and poplars give in to my desires
those over there collapse and those fall back
those lost in the countryside find their bearings in finding me
the old corpses come back to life at my voice
the young oaks just cut down wrap themselves in greenery
the shreds of fabric rotting in the ground and on the ground
flap at my voice like the flag of rebellion
the linen drying in the farmyards clothe adorable women that I don't adore
who come to me
obey my voice and adore me
the tornadoes spin around in my mouth
the hurricanes redden my lips if they can do it
the tempests snarl at my feet
the typhoons rumple my hair if the can do it
I accept the kisses of cyclone drunkenness
the riptides come to die at my feet
the earthquakes don't shake me but make everything totter at my command
the smoke of volcanoes attires me in its vapors
and cigarette smoke perfumes me
and the smoke rings of fancy cigars crown me
the loved ones and the love pursued for so long find shelter in me
the lovers hear my voice
the living and the dead give in and wave to me
the former cooly the latter intimately
the gravediggers abandon partly dug graves and announce that I am the
only one who can direct their nighttime labors
the murderers greet me
the executioners invoke the revolution
invoke my voice
invoke my name
the pilots use my eyes to navigate
the masons are seized with vertigo hearing me
the architects leave for the desert
the murderers bless me
the flesh quivers at my call


the one I love does not listen to me
the one I love does not hear me
the one I love does not answer me

The Voice of
Robert Desnos
About the Author

Sentimental Balances: Bio, texts and translations
Robert Desnos: A Unique French Surrealist Poet
Robert Desnos - The Academy of American Poets

Cross-References

Desnos was one of Breton's favourite surrealists, but the blessing didn't last long. He remained a friend of Marcel Duchamp's, and collaborated with Man Ray on the film, Les Etoiles de Mer.