Paul Éluard, pseudonym of Eugène Grindel (born Dec. 14, 1895, Saint-Denis, Paris, Fr.—died Nov. 18, 1952, Charenton-le-Pont), French poet, one of the founders of the Surrealist movement with Louis Aragon and André Breton among others and one of the important lyrical poets of the 20th century.
Éluard rejected later Surrealism and joined the French Communist Party. Many of his works reflect the major events of the century, such as the World Wars, the Resistance against the Nazis, and the political and social ideals of the 20th-century.
I was born to know you
To give you your name
(in Poèsie et Vérité, 1942)
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Paul Eluard Poems
The wind Undecided Rolls a cigarette of air
At the Window
I have not always had this certainty, this pessimism which reassures the best among us. There was a time when my friends laughed at me. I was not the master of my words. A certain indifference, I have not always known well what I wanted to say, but most often it was because I had nothing to say. The necessity of speaking and the desire not to be heard. My life hanging only by a thread.
I Cannot be Known
I cannot be known Better than you know me Your eyes in which we sleep
La courbe de tes yeux
La courbe de tes yeux fait le tour de mon coeur, Un rond de danse et de douceur, Auréole du temps, berceau nocturne et sûr, Et si je ne sais plus tout ce que j'ai vécu
She is standing on my eyelids And her hair is in my hair She has the color of my eye She has the body of my hand
A few grains of dust more or less On ancient shoulders Locks of weakness on weary foreheads This theatre of honey and faded roses
Head Against The Walls
There were only a few of them In all the earth Each one thought he was alone They sang, they were right
What else could we do, for the doors were guarded, What else could we do, for they had imprisoned us, What else could we do, for the streets were forbidden us, What else could we do, for the town was asleep?
‘She Looks Into Me…’
She looks into me The unknowing heart To see if I love She has confidence she forgets
I speak to you over cities I speak to you over plains My mouth is against your ear The two sides of the walls face
If I speak it’s to hear you more clearly If I hear you I’m sure to understand you
I looked in front of me In the crowd I saw you Among the wheat I saw you Beneath a tree I saw you
I am in front of this feminine land Like a child in front of the fire Smiling vaguely with tears in my eyes
A Single Smile
A single smile disputes Each star with the gathering night A single smile for us both
Comments about Paul Eluard
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Rolls a cigarette of air
The mute girl talks:
It is art's imperfection.
This impenetrable speech.
The motor car is truly launched:
Four martyrs' heads
Roll under the wheels.
Ah! a thousand flames, a fire,
The light, a shadow!
The sun is following me.
A feather gives to a hat
A touch of lightness:
The chimney smokes.