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Literature and Ideas

Old Flame

By candlelight
he loved to read
all through his life.

And often moved
a hand across
the flame, to prove

to himself
that he lived,
prove that he
was alive.

Since the day
of his death,
he has kept
by his side

a candle that burns.
But now he keeps
his cold hands firm.
Tout le long de sa vie
Il avait aimé à lire
Avec une bougie
Et souvent il passait
La main dessus la flamme
Pour se persuader
Qu'il vivait,
Qu'il vivait.
Depuis le jour de sa mort
Il tient à côté de lui
Une bougie allumée
Mais garde les mains cachées.

Jules Supervielle (1884–1960)

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