Sunflower by André Robert Breton

for Perre Reverdy

The traveller who crossed Les Halles at summer’s end
Walked on tiptoe
Despair rolled its great handsome lilies across the sky
And in her handbag was my dream that flask of salts
That only God’s godmother had breathed
Torpors unfurled like mist
At the Chien qui Fume
Where pro and con had just entered
They chould hardly see the young woman and then only at an angle
Was I dealing with the ambassadress of saltpeter
Or with the white curve on black background we call thought
The Innocents’ Ball was in full swing
The Chinese lanterns slowly caught fire in chestnut trees
The shadowless lady knelt on the Pont-au-Change
On Rue Gît-le-Coeur the stamps had changed
The night’s promises had been kept at last
The carrier pigeons and emergency kisses
Merged with the beautiful stranger’s breasts
Jutting beneath the crepe of perfect meanings
A farm prospered in the heart of Paris
And its windows looked out on the Milky Way
But no one was lived there yet because of the guests
Guests who are known to be more faithful than ghosts
Some like that woman appear to be swimming
And a bit of their substance becomes part of love
She internalizes them
I am the plaything of no sensory power
And yet the cricket who sang in hair of ash
One evening near the statue of Etienne Marcel
Threw me a knowing glance
André Breton it said pass

26 August 1923

From: Breton, André and Polizzotti, Mark (ed. and transl.), André Breton: Selections, 2003, University of California Press: Berkeley, pp. 71-72.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=nLQRXzQ4NgoC)

Date: 1923 (original in French); 2003 (translation in English)

By: André Robert Breton (1896-1966)

Translated by: Mark Polizzotti (1957- )

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