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My Lou I shall sleep tonight…(extracts) from Poèmes à Lou, Xxxii

My Lou I shall sleep tonight in the trenches
Freshly dug and waiting near our guns
Some twelve kilometers away are the holes
Where I shall go down in my coat of horizon-blue
Between the whizzbangs and the casseroles
To take my place among our soldier-troglodytes
The train stopped at Mourmelon le Petit
And I stepped down as happy as I climbed up
Soon we shall leave for the battery but for now
I’m among the soldiery and shells are whistling
In the grey north sky and no one thinks of dying…

……………………………

And thus we shall live on the frontline
And I shall liken your arms to the necks of swans
And sing your breasts belonging to a goddess
And the lilac shall blossom… I shall sing your eyes
Where a choir of lissom cherubs is dancing
The lilac shall blossom in the serious spring!

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Poet:
Guillaume Apollinaire
Translator:
Stephen Romer
Original language:
French
Issue:
Series 3 No.7 - Love and War

About the author

Guillaume Apollinaire

Original poet

Guillaume Apollinaire

Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire (Rome, 26 August 1880–9 November 1918, Paris)...

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Stephen Romer

Translator

Stephen Romer

Stephen Romer's fourth collection, Yellow Studio, was published by Carcanet's Oxford Poet's series in early 2008. He edited Fa...

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