Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WINDOWS (VERSION A), by STEPHANE MALLARME



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WINDOWS (VERSION A), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Disgusted with the dreary hospital, and the rank fumes
Last Line: -even at the risk of falling in eternity?
Subject(s): Self-hate


Disgusted with the dreary hospital, and the rank fumes
Rising with the banal whiteness of the curtains
Toward the great crucifix tired of the bare wall,
The man destined for death slyly straightens his old spine,

Shuffles, less to warm his rotting body
Than to watch the sun on the stones, to press
His ashen gaunt and skeletal face
To the panes which a clear beautiful ray attempts to tinge,

And his mouth, feverish and greedy for the azure,
As when young, he breathed his prize,
A virginal cheek! soils
With a long bitter kiss the warm golden panes.

Drunk, forgetting the horror of the holy oil,
The herb teas, the clock and the inflicted bed,
The cough, he lives again; and when twilight bleeds on the tiles,
His eye on the horizon gorged with light,

Sees golden ships, fine as swans,
On a scented river of purple, sleepily
Rocking the rich faun flash of their lines
In a great calm charged with memory!

In this way, disgusted with the blunt-souled man
Who wallows in contentment, where only his appetites
Devour him, and who insists on fetching this filth
To present to his wife nursing her children,

I flee and I cling to all those windows
From where one turns one's back on life, and hallowed,
In their glass, washed by eternal dews,
Gilded by the chaste morning of the Infinite

I see myself and I brag I am an angel! and I die, and I long
-Let the glass be art, let it be mysticism-
To be reborn, wearing my dream as a crown,
In a past heaven where Beauty flourished!

But, alas! Here-below is master; its curse
Sickens me at times even in this safe shelter,
And the foul vomit of Stupidity
Makes me stop up my nose in face of the azure.

Is there a way for Me who knows bitterness,
To shatter the crystal insulted by the monster
And to escape with my two featherless wings
-Even at the risk of falling in eternity?





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