Red peppers on a white wall: in need of sunshine and warmth during the cold Midwinter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This poem by Jacques Prévert, translated in English, is like all his poetry deceptively simple. I like its middle stanzas, which are digressions (and, in a way, do I search a justification for mine?). But, most of all, I like the colours: whitewashed walls and red peppers hanging, the blue, blue sky, and the sea not very far with its constant roll of waves and light fringe of foam, the froth of the frock of the woman, the Mediterranean blue, the sand, the heat, and the shadows, the coolness of the house. House. Peppers. Walls. Sun. You. I. You and I only are defined. The rest are entities. You. I.

 

INTO MY HOUSE

Into my house you will come

Actually this isn’t my house

I don’t know whose it is

I came in one day just like that

There was no one here

Just some red peppers hanging on a white wall

I stayed in this house a long time

No one came in

But every day and every day

I waited for you

I wasn’t doing anything

At least nothing serious

Sometimes in the morning

I would let out animal cries

I bawled like a donkey

With all of my might

And it pleased me to do so

And then I played with my feet

Feet are very smart

They take you very far

When you want to go very far

And then when you don’t want to leave

They stay there they keep you company

And when there is music they dance

You can’t dance without them

Just be stupid like man is so often

As stupid as his feet happy as a clam

The clam isn’t happy

It’s only happy when it’s happy

And sad when it’s sad or neither happy nor sad

How do you know that it’s a clam

Honestly it’s not really called that

It’s man who called this mollusk that

Clam clam clam clam

Names are so weird

Martin Hugo Victor is his first name

Bonaparte Napoleon is his first name

Why like that and not like this

A troop of bonapartes pass through the desert

The Emperor is named Dromedary

He has the body of a horse and some travelling luggage

At a far gallop a man who only has three first names

He’s called Tim-Tam-Tom and doesn’t have a last name

A little further still there is no one that matters

Much further still there is nothing that matters

And then what can you do

Into my house you will come

I think about other things but I only think about this

And once you have taken off all your clothes

And you stand there nude motionless with your red mouth

Like the red peppers hanging on the white wall

And then you will lie down and I will lie down next to you

Voilà

Into my house that is not my house you will come.

Jacques Prévert

(Paroles)

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3 thoughts on “Red peppers on a white wall: in need of sunshine and warmth during the cold Midwinter!

    1. I have no device to take pictures. Therefore, I spend a lot of time on Google to choose what I think will illustrate best what I am writing or will write or have written. It depends: sometimes, I start from a picture, at other times, I have an isea and the words come bubbllng.
      For this poem, I have been seeing the clear image of these red peppers and the sea and the white walls for years, in my mind’s eye. I am glad I found almost the images I had seen. They were taken in Tunisia.

      Liked by 1 person

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