UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Red Poster by Louis Aragon

You demanded neither glory nor tears

Nor organ nor last rites

Eleven years already how quickly eleven years go by

You made use simply of your weapons

Death does not dazzle the eyes of Partisans

You had your pictures on the walls of our cities

Black with beard and night hirsute menacing

The poster that looked like a bloodstain

Because your names are hard to pronounce

Was meant to create fear among the passers-by

No one seemed to see you French by choice

People went by all day without seeing you

But at curfew wandering fingers

Had written under your photos FALLEN FOR FRANCE

And it made the dismal mornings different

Everything had the uniform colour of frost

In late February for your last moments

And that is when one of you said calmly

Happiness to all Happiness to those who will survive

I die with no hate in me for the German people

Farewell grief and pleasure Farewell roses

Farewell life farewell light and wind

Get married be happy and think of me often

You who will remain in the beauty of things

When everything will be over later in Yerevan

A great winter sun lights up the hill

How beautiful is nature and how broken is my heart

Justice will come on our triumphant footsteps

My Mélinée O my love my orphan girl

And I am telling you to live and to have a child

There were twenty-three of them when the guns flowered

Twenty-three who were giving the heart before the time

Twenty-three foreigners and yet our brothers

Twenty-three in love with life to the point of losing it

Twenty-three who were shouting France as they fell.