afterword from Flaques de verre

Among those things that are considered worthless and useless, poetry is quite certainly one of the most impressive. How explain that it is the very seam that man dreams of mining during the first stirrings of his impetuous youth? While on the other hand how contemplate without a sad smile the notion that one grows old while chewing on verse? Poets must be struck, with much more force than our loathsome generals, by the limits of age. There are far more vain things in life than these beauties which we once esteemed above all else. After having crossed, without weakening, the age of dreams, the age of the image and that of thoughts, one reaches the golden age then the stone age. Other people are now carefully labeled in folders and stuffed in boxes. These boxes are nailed shut, hermetically sealed, and shipped far away. They are loaded onto boats that set sail and a pale horizon snaps them up in its ambiguous smile. I no longer see the boats, I no longer see the people, I no longer see the boxes. I no longer see the poetry between the lines. It is no longer for me, it has never been for me in books. It drifts through the streets, in the sky, within the grimy studios, over the city. It floats majestically above this life which, occasionally, distorts it. And this sky, tempestuous and constantly changing, that is reflected on the barely sketched roads of the future, in the puddles, this sky that draws our hands towards it, this silky sky, caressed over and over like fine sheets–behind broken windows, poetry, free of words and ideas, is revealed.

(1929)