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22 Apr 2010

Arbitrary Destiny.

Written by sally @ 3:08 pm — Section: sally

In some poetry class in graduate school, we read some surrealist poems. One ends with the words “tasty tasty bosoms.” My friend and I take to murmuring “tasty tasty bosoms” in a creepy voice whenever the urge hits. Time passes. I want to read this poem again. All I know it was a surrealist and that there were tasty tasty bosoms involved. That’s not a lot to go on, Google-wise. Last week I was reading something and the name “Michael Benedikt” came up. He’s the tasty bosom translator! I think. I Google and Google and find that he translated the work of Desnos. I see the title “Arbitrary Destiny” and have a feeling that that’s it. I know that’s it, but this translation is unGoogleable and thus, I must rely on ILL. The book came in today, and lo! It’s the one, tasty tasty bosoms and all.

Arbitrary Destiny
–Robert Desnos, translated by Michael Benedikt

Once again the great days of the crusades return!
Through this sealed window the birds refuse to speak
Like fish in an aquarium.
In the display window
a pretty woman smiles.
Everyday happiness you are a lump of sealing-wax
while I go traveling on like some mist.
A great many ushers anxiously pursue
a perfectly inoffensive butterfly escaping down an aisle.
Beneath my cupped hands it becomes a pair of lace panties
and your eagle flesh
O my dreams while I hold you in my arms!
In the world of tomorrow they will bury you for free
nobody will catch cold anymore
people will speak in the language of flowers
and shine with a glow previously unexperienced.
But today is still today.
I feel my commencement ceremonies coming
the way wheatfields feel in June.
All right officers just slip those manacles on me.
The statues refuse to obey they turn their heads away.
Across their pedestals I’ll scribble insults then sign my worst enemy’s name.
Far off across the seas between two tides
a lovely woman’s body scares off sharks.
They rise to the surface to admire themselves there in the clear air
but dare not nibble at those forbidden bosoms
such tasty tasty bosoms, too.

(from The Poetry of Surrealism: An Anthology. Ed. Michael Benedikt. Little, Brown, 1974. p. 250.)

One Response to “Arbitrary Destiny.”

  1. Mix said:

    I like it!