No, Love Is Not Dead

Robert Desnos

 
No, love is not dead in this heart these eyes and this mouth
that announced the start of its own funeral.
Listen, I've had enough of the picturesque, the colorful
and the charming.
I love love, its tenderness and cruelty.
My love has only one name, one form.
Everything disappears. All mouths cling to that one.
My love has just one name, one form.
And if someday you remember
O you, form and name of my love,
One day on the ocean between America and Europe,
At the hour when the last ray of light sparkles
on the undulating surface of the waves, or else a stormy night
beneath a tree in the countryside or in a speeding car,
A spring morning on the boulevard Malesherbes,
A rainy day,
Just before going to bed at dawn,
Tell yourself-I order your familiar spirit-that
I alone loved you more and it's a shame
you didn't know it.
Tell yourself there's no need to regret: Ronsard
and Baudelaire before me sang the sorrows
of women old or dead who scorned the purest love.
When you are dead
You will still be lovely and desirable.
I'll be dead already, completely enclosed in your immortal body,
in your astounding image forever there among the endless marvels
of life and eternity, but if I'm alive,
The sound of your voice, your radiant looks,
Your smell the smell of your hair and many other things
will live on inside me.
In me and I'm not Ronsard or Baudelaire
I'm Robert Desnos who, because I knew
and loved you,
Is as good as they are.
I'm Robert Desnos who wants to be remembered
On this vile earth for nothing but his love of you.
A la mysterieuse

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Featuring lines from
"No, Love Is Not Dead"
     
by Robert Desnos
 
By Robert Desnos, translated and edited by William Kulik, and published by Ecco Press in The Selected Poems of Robert Desnos. 1991 by William Kulik. Used with Permission. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

Identity of Images by Robert Desnos
I am fighting furiously with animals and bottles
The Voice of Robert Desnos by Robert Desnos
So like a flower and a current of air


Further Reading

Poems About Love
Monna Innominata [I loved you first]
by Christina Rossetti
Monna Innominata [I wish I could remember]
by Christina Rossetti
A Birthday
by Christina Rossetti
A Line-storm Song
by Robert Frost
A Negro Love Song
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Darling, You Are the World's Fresh Ornament
by Laura Cronk
Fons
by Pura López-Colomé
In a Boat
by D. H. Lawrence
Let Us Live and Love (5)
by Gaius Valerius Catullus
Love
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Love
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Love in a Life
by Robert Browning
Love's Philosophy
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Lovers' Infiniteness
by John Donne
Manners
by Michael Blumenthal
Meeting at Night
by Robert Browning
My love is as a fever, longing still
by Christopher Bursk
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon Byron
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
by Christian Hawkey
The Buried Life
by Matthew Arnold
The Definition of Love
by Andrew Marvell
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Face of All the World (Sonnet 7)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Forms of Love
by George Oppen
The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn
The Look
by Sara Teasdale
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
by Edward Lear
The Passionate Freudian to His Love
by Dorothy Parker
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
by Christopher Marlowe
The White Rose
by John Boyle O'Reilly
To Anthea Who May Command Him Any Thing
by Robert Herrick
When I Heard at the Close of Day
by Walt Whitman
Wooing Song
by Giles Fletcher