The Monday Poem – Five Haiku by Paul Eluard

Paul Eluard

This week’s poem is Paul Eluard’s Five Haiku. I hope it inspires you 🙂

There were only a few of them
In all the earth
Each one thought he was alone
They sang, they were right
To sing
But they sang the way you sack a city
The way you kill yourself.

Frayed moist night
Shall we endure you
Longer
Shall we not shake
Your cloacal evidence
We shall not wait for a morning
Made to measure
We wanted to see in other people’s eyes
Their nights of love exhausted
They dream only of dying
Their lovely flesh forgotten
Bees caught in their honey
They are ignorant of life
And we suffer everywhere
Red roofs dissolve under the tongue
Dog days in the full beds
Come, empty your sacks of fresh blood
There is still a shadow here

A shred of imbecile there
In the wind their masks, their cast-offs
In lead their traps, their chains
And their prudent blind-men’s gestures
There is fire under rocks
If you put out the fire
Be careful we have
Despite the night it breeds
More strength than the belly
Of your wives and sisters
And we will reproduce
Without them but by ax strokes
In your prisons

Torrents of stone labors of foam
Where eyes float without rancor
Just eyes without hope
That know you
And that you should have put out
Rather than ignore

With a safety pin quicker than your gibbets
We shall take our booty where we want it to be


Paul Eluard
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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)