Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, YOUNG FATE, by PAUL VALERY



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YOUNG FATE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Harmonious me, disparate from a dream
Last Line: And burns in the somber goal of my yawning marble.
Subject(s): Brides; Dreams; Fate; Nightmares; Destiny


Harmonious ME, disparate from a dream,
Pliable and firm woman in the silences
Followed by pure deeds. ... Clear brow, and swept by waves
So far that the vague and velvet wind is one
With you, long slender stalks that blending rise,
Speak! ... I was the equal and the bride of day,
Sole smiling support that I informed with love,
At the omnipotent altitude adored.

What glory blindly gilded on my lashes,
O eyelids that a night of treasure closed,
I prayed, groping in the golden shadows!
Porous to the eternal that seemed to close me in,
I offered myself in my soft fruit he devours:
Nothing murmured in me beyond a desire to die
In that mellow pulp that would ripen in the sun:
My bitter savor had not yet come to me.
I sacrificed no more than my naked shoulder
To the light; and on this throat of honey drawn,
Whose soft birth brings fulfilment to the sky,
There comes to rest the face of all the world.
Then, in the shining god a wandering captive,
I set forth burning, and trampled the high sun,
Twining and untwining my shadows under the gold.
Happy! At the height of so many fair sheaves
That left my gown to follow the clusters of blossoms
In the abasements of their slender pride;
And if, against the thread of that liberty,
If the robe tears from the rebellious thorn,
The arc of my taut body sets me forth and marks me,
Nude under the bellowing veil of vivid hues
My race disputes with the long bands of flowers!

And I half regret that vain prepotency.

One with desire, I was the obedience
Imminently wrought in these ivory knees;
With so swift movements were my vows fulfilled
I felt my cause was scarcely livelier!
Toward my luminous senses my light clay swam,
And in the ardent peace of natural dreams
These infinite steps all seemed to me eternal.

If only, O splendor, not the enemy at my feet,
My shadow! fluid and supple mummy, flowered
My painted absence on the earth where I avoided
That frail death. Between the rose and me
I watch it lurk; and over the dancing dust
It slides, nor stirs the foliage, but goes on
And shatters everywhere. ... Slips! Funereal bark. ...
And I erect, hard, agile, and in secret armed
With my great void, but with a cheek enflamed
As by love, and nostrils aquiver for the orange-tree,
I yield the day an alien regard ...
Oh! how far within my curious night may grow
The mysterious portion of my severed heart,
And with somber trials how deep may grow my art! ...
Far from environs pure, a prisoner,
And overthrown by the swooning of perfumes,
I feel my statue tremble in the light,
Its marble run with swift caprice of gold.
But I know what my vanished look may see:
My dark eye is the threshhold of despairs!
I think, abandoning the hours to the wind
And the unreturning soul of bitter herbs,
I think, on the golden edge of the universe,
Of that longing to die that takes the Pythoness
In whom there wails the hope that the world shall end.
I renew within me my gods and my enigmas,
My paces interrupted by words to the skies,
My pauses, on the foot that bears the dream
That follows in winged mirror bird that veers,
A hundred times in the sunlight plays with the void,
And burns in the somber goal of my yawning marble.





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