The Monday Poem – The Invention by Paul Eluard

The Invention (L’invention)

The right hand allows a trickle of sand

Every transformation is possible

Far off, on the stones the sun whets its eagerness to be gone

The description of the landscape matters little

Merely the pleasant duration of harvests

Clear to my two eyes

As water and fire.

What is the role of the root?

Despair has broken all bounds

And holds its hands to its head

A seven, a four, a two, a one

A hundred women in the street

Whom I’ll not see again.

The art of loving, liberal art, the art of dying well,

The art of thought, incoherent art, the art of the smoker,

The art of pleasure, of the Middle Ages, decorative art,

The art of reason, the art of reasoning well, the art

Poetic, mechanical art, erotic art, the art

Of being a grandfather, the art of dance, the art of seeing,

The art of being accomplished, the art of caress, Japanese art,

The art of play, the art of eating, the torturer’s art.

I have never yet found what I write in what I love.


Born: 14 December 1895, Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, France
Died: 18 November 1952, Charenton-le-Pont, France
Spouse: Dominique Laure (m. 1951–1952), Nusch Éluard(m. 1934–1946), Gala Dalí (m. 1917–1929)
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