Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Complaint: About a lady good and dead by Jules Laforgue

About a lady good and dead

She fled along the avenue;
I followed, magnetized!
Her eyes were saying, ‘Alas, I knew
You recognized me too!’

I followed, magnetized!
Ingenuous mouth, regretful eyes;
Oh, why did I recognize
That loyal dream of you?

Lips so pure, but old her eyes;
A white carnation veined too blue!
Oh, nothing, of course, but a stillborn prize,
Far too dead to be true.

Sleep, carnation veined too blue,
Human life somehow survives
Without, defunct now, you.
I’ll fast at home for this surprise!

True, she was no one I knew.

Patrick Caulfield: The Poems of Jules Laforgue, trans. by Patricia Terry (London: The Southbank Centre, 1995), 18.