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This poem is taken from PN Review 254, Volume 46 Number 6, July - August 2020.

Pierrots (translated by Gareth Reeves) Jules Laforgue
Locutions des Pierrots

     Pierrot’s Personae


Those rush-lashed pools, your eyes
    – O valiant lady of leisure –
    When, when will they mirror
My soul, its lofty moonrise?

For the longest hour ever
    Has my so artless heart
    Soaked up your ugly spite
With devoted doggy eyes.

Lady, it will not do,
    When you’re no Mona Lisa,
    To try to make, like her,
This poor old world feel blue.


Ah, the divine affection
I cherish for Cydalise
Now she eludes the lunacies
Of my incomprehension.

True, I make myself sick

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