Guest poem sent in by
(Poem #1339) I've Dreamed of You So Much
I've dreamed of you so much that you're losing your reality. Is it already too late for me to embrace your literal, living and breathing physical body and to kiss that mouth which is the birthplace of that voice which is so dear to me? I've dreamed of you so much that my arms--which have become accustomed to lying crossed upon my own chest after attempting to encircle your shadow--might not be able to unfold again to embrace the contours of your literal form, perhaps So that coming face-to-face with the actual incarnation of what has haunted me and ruled me and dominated my life for so many days and years Might very well turn me into a shadow. Oh equilibriums of the emotional scales! I've dreamed of you so much that it might be too late for me to ever wake up again. I sleep on my feet, body confronting all the usual phenomena of life and love and yet when it comes to you--you, the only being on the planet who matters to me now-- I can no more touch your face and lips than I can those of the next random passerby. I've dreamed of you so much, have walked and talked and slept so much with your phantom presence that perhaps the only thing left for me to do now Is to become a phantom among phantoms, a shadow a hundred times more shadowy than that shifting shape which moves and which will go on moving, stepping lightly and happily across the sundial of your life.
(Translated by Michael Benedikt) This poem by Robert Desnos was originally written in French in 1926. I translated this piece at the age of 16 during my 4th year of French Studies in high school in North America. Now in my 30's, I recently found the tattered remnants of my romantic schoolgirl translation buried within the pages of a book where I first discovered my heartfelt love and proclivity for the written word. Ironically, the words, the images and the idea of the "one" as written by Robert Desnos -- which attracted me then -- haunt me still. Despite the yearning inherent in the impressionable adolescence of a hesitant, yet emerging young poet -- also a student of French -- I find I like my version (below) best. But then, I have so many dreams of..... 'Poem to the Mysterious' 1926 (translated by ) I have so many dreams of you, that you lose your reality Is it too late to reach for your living, breathing body, and lower my mouth over the birthplace of a voice so dear to me? I have so many dreams of you, that my arms--accustomed to embracing only shadows-- will cross themselves over my chest and will not unfold again if not perhaps around the contours of your very body. And until your actual appearance in my life --the ideal of the person who haunts and leads me through the days and the years-- I too will become a shadow, without direction or sentimental balance I have so many dreams of you, that I may never wake up again. I sleep at will, exposing my life to love and to you, the only one that matters to me now. Would that I be able to touch your forehead and lips, and not those of a one who randomly crosses my path. I have so many dreams of you, so walked upon, talked about and slept with your haunting image, that there is no remedy but to be, a ghost among the ghosts. And I'd rather be this shadow one hundred times over, than the phantom shape that walks and will walk happily over the sundial of your life. --- Biography of Desnos: http://members.aol.com/benedit5/desnos2.html#INTRO And one of Benedikt: http://members.tripod.com/~MichaelBenedikt/ind2.html#Bio/Recent%20Photo