Military Train [Train militaire], by Apollinaire

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Apollinaire, Train militaire, Translations
Tags: , ,

“Train militaire” was published in Poèmes à Lou, a collection of poems written during the first world war (Apollinaire was a soldier).

Here you can read and also listen to Apollinaire’s poem.

We march we march at a motionless pace
We drink at the tank when the meal ends
The last tree full of flowers that before Dijon we’ve seen
(For it is over the flowers of the area of Nîmes)
Was all pink as well as your virginal breasts
My life is dated as well as the papers
Of yesterday and we love ô women your images
Are in our carriages like birds in cages
Do you still recollect the fog of Sospel
A girl had your original vice
And our night in Vence before going to Grasse
And the hotel of Menton Everything goes and bores and falls
And when you are old ô my young beauty
When the winter comes after your fair summer
When my name is spread around the earth
Hearing the name of Guillaume Apollinaire
You will say He loved me and you will pride yourself
Come on open your heart You opened your arms

Memories they are endless gardens
Where the toad modulates a tender azure cry
The doe of the distraught silence passes fast
A nightingale wounded by love sings on
The rose-bush of your body where I gathered roses
Our hearts hang together on the same pomegranate
Whose grenade flowers bloomed between our hearts
Falling one by one strew over the path

The trees run hard the trees run run
And the horizon comes to meet the train
And the telegraph poles become enamoured
They have a hard-on like a stag toward the fair serene sky
Thus fair loved sky dear Lou whom I adore
I still desire you ô paradise lost
All our deep kisses I recollect them
The wind is so sweet like a bitten kiss
After memories memories still

Translated by Anne-Charlotte Husson


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