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giovedì 2 agosto 2012

Eluard, Breton: 'ATTEMPTED SIMULATION OF INTERPRETATIVE DELIRIUM' ["L'immaculée Conception", 1930]

When that love was done with, I was left 
like a bird on a branch. I was no longer 
of  any use for anything. Nevertheless I 
observed that the patches of oil on  the water reflected 
my image and I noticed that the Pont au Change, 
which has the bird market next to it, was becoming 
more and more curved. 

And that is how, one fine day, I crossed over 
forever to the other side of the rainbow by dint of 
watching iridescent birds. Now I have nothing to do 
with the ground. No more than any other bird, I say, 
do I need any more to demean myself on the ground, 
to put in a winged appearance on the ground. I 
refuse to sing along with you the lurid ditty: "We die 
for the little birds, give a feast to your little birds." 

The gaudy colours of the rainshower prattle 
parrot. They coddle the wind which hatches out with 
seeds in its eyes. The double eyelid of the sun rises 
and falls on life. The birds' feet on the windowpane of 
the sky are what I used to call stars. The earth itself, 
whose motion seems so inexplicable as long as one 
remains beneath the vault, the earth that is 
webfooted with deserts is itself subject to the laws of 

The feather summer is not over yet. The holds 
have been opened and harvests of down are being 
stuffed into them. The weather is moulting. 

The cock on the steeple adorns the gunfire 
smoke while the orange-breasted widow makes her 
way to the cemetery whose crosses are the tiny 
flashes of Senegalese Diamonds while man 
continues to believe himself upon the earth like a 
blackbird on a buffalo's back, upon the sea like a gull 
on the crest of the waves; the blackbird solid and the 
seagull liquid. 

Horus, with a finger to his lips, is the 
avalanche. I had not seen those birdcatchers who 
search for men in the sky and drive each other from 
their nests with stones they throw into the air. 

Phoenixes come bringing me my food of glow 
worms and their wings which ceaselessly dip into 
the'gold of the earth are the sea and the sky which 
we only used to see aglow on stormy days and which 
hide their thunderbolt plumes among their feathers 
when they fall asleep on the single foot of the air.  

The mills of lightning have broken their shells 
and flee as fast as their wings will carry them, sand 
eats dunes, the horizon is trying to keep out of the 
way of clouds. 

You will agree that your drop-sided cots, and 
your twisted bars, and your gnawed floors, and your 
nutmegs, and your scarecrows in the latest fashion, 
and your telegraph wires, and your journeys in 
pigeon class compartments, and the lambs that 
form the plinths of your statues of prey, and your 
hurdle races run at dusk with robins that fly away, 
and the hours, and the minutes, and the seconds in 
your woodpecker heads, and your glorious 
conquests, yes, your glorious cuckoo-like conquests! 
All these snares of grace were only ever there to get 
me through the gates of danger, the gates that 
separate fear from courage. Do not count any more 
on me to help you forget that your ghosts are decked 
out like birds of paradise. 

In the beginning was song. Everyone to the 
windows! From one side to the other you see nothing 
now but Leda. My whirling wings are the doors 
through which she enters the swan's neck, on the 
great deserted square that is the heart of the bird of 

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