by Guillaume Apollinaire
Translated by Timothy Adès

Fireworks filigreed in steel
Very pretty lighting this
Artificer’s artifice
Courage gets a touch of style

Starburst rockets rosy pair
Like a bared and spilling bust
Point their points up shameless there
‘QUITE SOME LOVER’ now he’s dust

Poet in the forest looked
Saw it all indifferent
His revolver isn’t cocked
Roses died too confident

Saadi’s roses in his mind
See his head sink down inclined
When a rose reminds him of
Someone’s soft posterior curve

One-eyed stars the air is filled
By foul gases they’ve distilled
Alcohols that rot the sky.
Night is perfumed you’re at rest
By exploding shells caressed
That’s how roses mortify

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