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World Literature from 1660
Da-da Poetry: Paul Eluard
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Romanticism

Woman in Love

 

She is standing on my eyelids

And her hair is mine,

She has the shape of my hands,

She has the color of my eyes,

She is engulfed in my shadow

Like a stone against the sky.

 

This stanza shows the reader that the woman has consumed the man. She has the power to stand on his eyelids, to keep his eyes open so that he may not shut her out of his mind. Her hair has intertwined with his, become his. They are one even to her taking on his eye color and becoming part of his shadow.

 

Her eyes are always open

She does not let me sleep.

Her dreams in broad daylight

Make sums evaporated,

Make me laugh, weep and laugh,

And speak without anything to say.

 

Although in Stanza One, it may appear that he has absorbed her, as in engulfing her in his shadow, in stanza two, her power is made clear. She keeps her eyes open while inside him. Her power is to not let him sleep. Her power is to make her dreams control his mind so much so that he can’t even do math. Math, after all, requires rational thinking. Her dreams control his emotions completely. This woman in love has consumed this man from the inside out.

Here is the poem in Eluard's original French.
 
L'Amoureuse

Elle est debout sur mes paupières
Et ses cheveux sont dans les miens,
Elle a la forme de mes mains,
Elle a la couleur de mes yeux,
Elle s'engloutit dans mon ombre
Comme une pierre sur le ciel.

Elle a toujours les yeux ouverts
Et ne me laisse pas dormir.
Ses rêves en pleine lumière
Font s'évaporer les soleils,
Me font rire, pleurer et rire,
Parler sans avoir rien à dire.

And here is Google's automatic translation, a machined trot.
 
 The In love One

It is upright on my eyelids
And its hair is in mine,
It has the shape of my hands,
It has the color of my eyes,
It is absorbed in my shade
Like a stone on the sky.

It always has the open eyes
And does not let to me sleep.
Its dreams in full light
Evaporate the suns,
Make me laugh, cry and laugh,
To speak without having anything to say.