Robert Desnos/ Corps et Biens
O douleurs de l’amour!
Comme vous m’êtes nécessaires et comme vous m’êtes chères.Mes yeux qui se fermes sur des larmes imaginaires, mes mains qui se tendent sans cesse vers le vide.J’ai rêvé cette nuit de paysages insensés et d’aventures dangereuses aussi bien du point de vue de la mort que du point de vue de la vie, qui sont aussi le point de vue de l’amour.
(Gallimard, 1975, first published in 1930)
Robert Desnos (French: [dɛsnɔs]; 4 July 1900 – 8 June 1945), was a French surrealist poet who played a key role in the Surrealist movement of his day.
Desnos died in “Malá pevnost”, which was an inner part of Terezín used only for political prisoners, from typhoid, only weeks after the camp’s liberation. He wrote poems during his imprisonment which were accidentally destroyed following his death.
There is a moving anecdote about Desnos last days after liberation while being tended to by a young Czech medical student; published in The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz, edited by Ann Weiss.
He was married to Youki Desnos, formerly Lucie Badoud, nicknamed “Youki” (“snow”) by her lover Tsuguharu Foujita before she left him for Desnos. Desnos wrote several poems about her. One of his most famous poems is “Letter to Youki”, written after his arrest.
He is buried at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.
Photo: Last known photo of Robert Desnos in the Theresianstadt concentration camp in 1945.