Thursday, 8 August 2013

Forever in Love...

Can love last a lifetime?  
I don't know why but I woke up this morning humming the melody of 'Nous dormirons ensemble', in my opinion one of the most beautiful declarations of love ever written, and have been feeling all romantic and nostalgic ever since...

 A poem by surrealist poet Louis Aragon, 'Nous dormirons ensemble' was set to music and by Jean Ferrat in the 1960s.
Louis Aragon in 1925
Aragon wrote it for his lover, wife and muse Elsa Triolet, among many other poems, and it was published in 1963 in the collection 'Le fou d'Elsa'.

Elsa was a Russian writer and poet, and the sister of Mayakovsky's lover Lili Brik. She left Russia at the outset of the Revolution after marrying a French cavalry officer she later divorced. After travelling to London and Berlin, she met Aragon in 1928 in Paris' Café de la Coupole, a famous haunt for artists at the time. Although they lived together straight away, they only married in 1939. They fought in the Résistance during the Second World War, travelled extensively after the war and stayed together until her death in 1970.
Elsa Triolet (she always kept the name of her first husband) was also the first woman to win the prestigious literary award Prix Goncourt in 1945 (when, by the way, women had just been granted the right to vote for the first time in France) for a collection of short stories 'Le premier accroc coute 200 Francs'.

Elsa Triolet

 I was unable to find an English translation for the poem. Sorry...

Nous dormirons ensemble

by Louis Aragon
Que ce soit dimanche ou lundi
Soir ou matin minuit midi
Dans l'enfer ou le paradis
Les amours aux amours ressemblent
C'était hier que je t'ai dit
Nous dormirons ensemble

C'était hier et c'est demain
Je n'ai plus que toi de chemin
J'ai mis mon cœur entre tes mains
Avec le tien comme il va l'amble
Tout ce qu'il a de temps humain
Nous dormirons ensemble

Mon amour ce qui fut sera
Le ciel est sur nous comme un drap
J'ai refermé sur toi mes bras
Et tant je t'aime que j'en tremble
Aussi longtemps que tu voudras
Nous dormirons ensemble.

Jean Ferrat

Jean Ferrat set many of Aragon's poems to music. He is one of my all time favourite French singers. And on a lighter note, what a moustache! I always thought he looked like a Mousquetaire!

I can't resist including an extract of poem Aragon wrote after Elsa's death of a heart attack in 1970.

L’adieu à Elsa

Son cœur a cessé de battre, foudroyé
Au milieu de l’allée du Moulin et de ses rosiers
Te laissant seul, éploré
Par le départ de ta bien-aimée

La fulgurance inouïe de la douleur
La déchirure d’un esprit qui se meurt
Aragon, tu as su malgré tout
Relever la tête et rester debout

Cette main qui ne se posera plus sur la tienne
Avec ce doux accent lorsqu’elle parlait…
Comme elle a dû être grande ta peine
De perdre celle que tu aimais

Tous ces mots jadis murmurés
Aux frontières d’une autre contrée
S’envolent avec elle, cher amour
S’envolent malgré toi pour toujours

They loved each other for over forty years, and he wrote beautiful poetry for her. They are one of my most romantic, most inspiring couples.

Who is your most romantic couple?

Elsa and Aragon


  1. That's a beautiful post, Marie - loved it! And thanks for the Youtube link. As for choosing my most romantic couple - what a difficult decision. Perhaps Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. That was a great romance. Thanks for the post!

  2. Thank you so much for visiting Helena. I do completely agree with your choice. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, there was such magic between them...