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

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Lilacs and the Roses by Louis Aragon

O months of flowering months of metamorphosis
May without a cloud and June lacerated
I will never forget the lilacs or the roses
Nor those spring’s folds have consecrated

I will never forget the tragic illusion
The procession cries crowd the sunlit clarity
The tanks laden with love the gifts from Belgium
The air that quivers the road this buzzing of bees
The rashness of victory that primes a quarrel
The red blood that a carmine kiss prefigures
And those about to die at the turrets, mortal,
Covered in lilacs by intoxicated watchers

I will never forget the gardens of France
Seeming the missals of vanished centuries
Nor the uneasy twilights enigma of silence
The roses all along the route of our journeys
The denial by flowers of the winds of panic
Of the soldiers passing by on wings of fear
Of the mad bicycles of the cannon, ironic,
Of the fake campers’ pitiable gear

Yet why does this tempest of images
Return me forever to one point of rest
At Saint Marthe A General Dark branches
A Norman villa the forest’s furthest edge
All’s quiet the enemy at rest in shadows
They say that Paris surrendered tonight
I’ll never forget the lilacs or the roses
Nor the twin loves we have lost outright

The first day’s bouquets lilacs lilacs from Flanders
Shadowy softness whose face death paints anew
And bouquets of the retreat roses tender
The colour of fire far roses of Anjou