Taken from various of the six volumes of poems Louis Aragon wrote
during the Second World War, the four poems in this book are
thought by many to be most representative of the French writer
who more than any other is considered the poet who best recorded
the feelings of his fellow Frenchmen during the war and the inva-
sion of France.
O MONTHS of blossoming, months of transfigurations,
May without cloud and June stabbed to the heart,
I shall not ever forget the lilacs or the roses
Nor those the spring has kept folded away apart.
I shall not ever forget the tragic sleight-of-hand,
The cavalcade, the cries, the crowd, the sun,
The lorries loaded with love, the Belgian gifts,
The road humming with bees, the atmosphere that spun,
The feckless triumphing before the battle,
The scarlet blood the scarlet kiss bespoke
And those about to die bolt upright in the turrets
Smothered in lilac by a drunken folk.
I shall not ever forget the flower gardens of France--
Illuminated scrolls from eras more than spent--
Nor forget the trouble of dusk, the sphinxlike silence,
The roses all along the way we went;