My heart is like an upside-down flame

I have at last detached myself
From all natural things
I can die but may not sin
And what no one has ever touched
I have touched, I have felt

And I’ve explored what no man
Can imagine in any way
Often I’ve weighed
Even life the imponderable
I can die with a smile

Accustom yourself as I have done
To these prodigies I announce
To the kindness that will rule
To the suffering I endure
And you will know what is to come

Je me suis enfin détaché
De toutes choses naturelles
Je peux mourir et non pécher
Et ce que l’on n’a jamais touché
Je l’ai touché, je l’ai palpé

Et j’ai scruté tout ce que nul
Ne peut en rien imaginer
Et j’ai soupesé maintes fois
Même la vie impondérable
Je peux mourir en souriant

Habituez-vous comme moi
A ces prodiges que j’annonce
A la bonté qui va régner
A la souffrance que j’endure
Et vous connaîtrez l’Avenir

(c) Guillaume Apollinaire‘s epitaph

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2 responses to “My heart is like an upside-down flame

  1. I am the self-dismembered man
    Denatured detached
    Capable of death incapable of sin
    And what no one has ever touched
    I have touched intimately

    I have tasted what no one
    Could possibly imagine
    I have measured numberless
    Unthinkable lives
    I can die smiling

    You must accept as I’ve accepted
    These prodigies I announce to you
    And the kindness that will govern us
    And the suffering I endure
    To show you the future

  2. other translation by Donald Revell

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