Expressions of loss by three french poets

Way  (Voie) by Tristan Tzara 1896-1963

What is this road that separates us,
Across which I extend the hand of thought?
A flower is written at the tip of every finger,
And at the end of the road is a flower that walks beside you.

 (Translated by Michael Bendikt)


My forehead against the glass (Le font aux vitres) by Paul Éluard 1895-1952

My forehead against the glass like watchmens grief,
Sky whose night I have surpassed,
Plain so small in my open hand,
In their double horizon, inert, indifferent,
My forehead against the glass like watchmens grief,
I look for you beyond all expectation,
Beyond even myself,
And no longer know, loving you so,
Which of us two is absent.

(translated poem taken from ‘Selected French Poems’, poetsofmodernity website)


Tomorrow, at dawn (Demain, des l’aube) by Victor Hugo 1802-1885

Tomorrow, at dawn,
Tomorrow, at dawn, at the hour when the countryside is white,
I will depart, you see, I know you wait for me.
I will walk by the forest and by the mountain.
I cannot stay far from you any longer,

I will trudge on, my eyes fixed on my thoughts,
Seeing nothing about me, without hearing a sound.
More, unknown, back stooped, hands crossed,
Saddened, and the day will be as night for me.

I will see neither the golden glow of the falling evening,
Nor the distant sails going down toward Harfleur,
And when I arrive, I will place on your tomb,
A bouquet of green holly and flowering heather.

(Much of the translation taken from

Victor Hugo describes his walk to the graveside of his drowned daughter, whose husband drowned also while trying to save her, only seven months after they were married in 1843.


Dedicated to my husband, Jean-Michel Lacroix (15.09.1955-17.10.2016)

27 thoughts on “Expressions of loss by three french poets

  1. These are beautiful words plaintively shared, I am certain. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I send you warmth when you feel cold without him, I send you nourishment for a bereft heart and I send you the hope that as the time peels away you will find some solace and succour in the value of the life you shared. 💔

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Here is another poem for you from me.

    Still Close By

    I have not gone
    I am close by
    In the stars above
    You can see my love

    I have not gone
    I am by your side
    In the moon above
    You will feel my love

    I have not gone
    I walk with you
    As the world revolves
    You will touch my love

    I have not gone
    I still talk with you
    Listen carefully and do not fear
    It’s my loving voice you hear

    I have not gone
    I am near by
    Don’t forget
    My love will never die

    ~ Marie Williams 2016

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Veronica, your reply did not appear in my notifications, so it is only by chance I saw it now. I feared I might have offended you, because your grief is so fresh, and my words might have not been welcome. So glad to see you were touched and reassured. My pleasure.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I am such a horrible friend, Veronica. Your dear husband was born in my birth year, 1955. Way too young. . .
    I send you hugs belatedly, love in your memories, hope for you to heal and become stronger in your future days. He will always be with you, V. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reocochran – yes 1955: way too young. I too was moved by the youthfulness of this great loss to dear Veronica. The dates too resonated with me, the loss falling the day (17th October) before my own birthday. And it occurred to me, how profound this was: me celebrating, and another person grieving. Veronica if you read this, please know that poem I wrote especially for you as I was so touched and you are very much in my thoughts. Marie

      Liked by 1 person

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