Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PRETTY REDHEAD, by GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE

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THE PRETTY REDHEAD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here I am before all a man of sense
Last Line: Have pity on me
Alternate Author Name(s): Kostrowitzky, Wilhelm Apollina

Here I am before all a man of sense
Knowing life and of death as much as a human being can know
Having experienced the pangs and the joys of love
Having known at times how to impose his ideas
Acquainted with several languages
Having traveled not a little
Having seen war in the Artillery and the Infantry
Wounded in the head trepanned under chloroform
Having lost his best friends in the frightful struggle
I know of the old and the new as much as one man can know of the two
And without being disturbed today by this war
Between us and for us my friends
I judge this long quarrel about tradition and invention
About Order and Adventure

You whose mouth is made in the image of God's
Mouth which is order itself
Be indulgent when you compare us
With those who were the perfection of order
We who seek adventure everywhere

We are not your enemies
We strive to give you vast and strange domains
Where mystery flowers for all who would gather it
There are new fires of colors there never seen before
A thousand imponderable phantasms
To which reality must be given
We strive to explore kindness enormous country where all is still
There is also time which can be banished or recaptured
Pity us who struggle ever on the frontiers
Of the limitless and the future
Pity us our errors pity us our sins

Here now comes summer the violent season
And my youth as well as the spring is dead
O Sun this is the time of ardent Reason
And I expect
To follow ever the sweet and noble form
Which she takes that I may love only her
She comes and draws me as a magnet iron
She has the charming aspect
Of an adorable redhead

Her hair is of gold one might say
A lovely flash of lightning that endures
Or those flames which flaunt
In tea roses that wither

But laugh laugh at me
Men everywhere especially people here
For there are so many things that I do not dare tell you
So many things that you would not permit me to say
Have pity on me

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