Sunday, February 3, 2019


Letter to Youki

My love,

Our suffering would be unbearable if we couldn't think of it as a passing and sentimental illness. Our rediscoveries will adorn our life for at least thirty years. As for me, I'm taking a deep drink of youth and I'll come back to you full of love and strength! During our separation a birthday, mine, was the occasion of a long fantasy about you. Will my letter reach you in time for your birthday? I would've liked to give you 100,000 American cigarettes, a dozen dresses from the great couturiers, an apartment on the Seine, a car, the cottage in the Compiegne forest, the one on Belle-Isle and a little four-sous bouquet. While I'm gone, keep flowers around all the time; I'll pay you back for them. All the rest, I promise it to you later.

But above all else, drink a bottle of good wine and think of me. I hope our friends won't forget to visit you that day. I thank them for their courage and devotion. About a week ago I got a package from J-L Barrault. Kiss him for me, and Madeleine Renaud too; the package is proof my letter got through. I haven't gotten an answer; I'm waiting for one every day. Kiss everyone in the family, Lucien, Aunt Juliet, Georges. If you run into Passeur's brother, give him my best and ask him if he knows anybody who can help you if you need it. What's happening with my books at the printer's? I've got a lot of ideas for poems and novels. I regret not having the freedom or the time to write them. But you can tell Gallimard that within three months after I get back he'll have the manuscript of a love story in an entirely new genre. I'm ending this letter for today.

Today, July 15th, I got four letters from Barrault, Julia, Dr. Benet and Daniel. Thank them apologize for me for not answering. I'm allowed only one letter a month. Still no word from you, but they send me news of you; that will be for the next time. I hope that letter is our life to come.



Robert Desnos
The Voice of Robert Desnos
(Selected Poems)
translated by William Kulik
The Sheep Meadow Press