Wednesday, April 02, 2003

What changes? (will we ever learn)

War (Guerre) Guillaume Apollinaire (1917)

The central combat sector
Contact by listening post
Or shoot in the direction of "audible noises"
The young men in the class of 1915
And these electrified wires
Yet don't cry about these horrors of war
Before it we only had the surface
Of the earth and the sea
After it we shall have the depths
The underground and free space overhead
Men at the tiller
Afterwards afterwards
We shall have all the joys
Of conquerors who rest
Women Games Factories Commerce
Industry Agriculture Iron
Fire Crystal Speed
Voice Light Touch separately
And together in the touch of distant things
Of far greater distances
Beyond this earth even

(translated from the French by Roger Shattuck 1971)

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