Deux Poèmes de Jules Romains

I have not forgot my astonishment the day when I discovered the Odes et Prières by an author of whom I, like just about everyone, knew only the droll Knock and the hilarious Les Copains. The vast, light sun and the multicoloured glass jewellery of laughter were followed by the narrow grey shadows of a bedroom, and the gravity, i.e., the weight, of fervour. This lyricism, so poignant and so slowly sustained, after the swerves of satire, has continued to surprise me. Once I got started, I believe I could have set almost the whole volume to music. (It only took courage and this thing I have no use for: ambition). In Knock or Les Copains, I was only invited to partake of a meal, informally, as an accomplice if not as a friend. In Prières, I am a guest at home, surrounded by familiar mirrors, which reflect invincibly my most secret shadows, my most unavowed fears.

Guy Sacre
(translation: John Tyler Tuttle)


  • 1. Voici qu’un jour tranquille
  • 2. Je me sens pauvre aujourd’hui.