Choose life instead of those prisms with no depth even if their colors are purer Instead of this hour always hidden instead of these terrible vehicles of cold flame Instead of these overripe stones Choose this heart with its safety catch Instead of that murmuring pool And that white fabric singing in the air and the earth at the same time Instead of that marriage blessing joining my forehead to total vanity's Choose life Choose life with its conspiratorial sheets Its scars from escapes Choose life choose that rose window on my tomb The life of being here nothing but being here Where one voice says Are you there where another answers Are you there I'm hardly here at all alas And even when we might be making fun of what we kill Choose life Choose life choose life venerable Childhood The ribbon coming out of a fakir Resembles the playground slide of the world Though the sun is only a shipwreck Insofar as a woman's body resembles it You dream contemplating the whole length of its trajectory Or only while closing your eyes on the adorable storm named your hand Choose life Choose life with its waiting rooms When you know you'll never be shown in Choose life instead of those health spas Where you're served by drudges Choose life unfavorable and long When the books close again here on less gentle shelves And when over there the weather would be better than better it would be free yes Choose life Choose life as the pit of scorn With that head beautiful enough Like the antidote to that perfection it summons and it fears Life the makeup on God's face Life like a virgin passport A little town like Pont-á-Mousson And since everything's already been said Choose life instead
From Andre Breton: Selections edited by Mark Polizzoti. Copyright © 2003. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press. "Choose Life" translated by Zack Rogow and Bill Zavatsky. All rights reserved.
Andre Breton was born in France in 1896 and worked in psychiatric units during World War I. In 1924 he published the Surrealist Manifesto, which defines surrealism and is considered to be the beginning of the Surrealist Movement. Breton died in 1966.
Date Published: 2003-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/choose-life