Robert Desnos Poems

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Robert Desnos
Robert Desnos (July 4, 1900 - June 8, 1945), was a French surrealist poet who played a key role in the surrealistic movement of his day. Robert Desnos was a son of a café owner. He was born in Paris on July 4, 1900. Desnos attended commercial college, and started work as a clerk. After that he worked as a literary columnist for the newspaper Paris-Soir. Desnos’ poems were first published in 1917 in La Tribune des Jeunes (Youth's Tribune) and in 1919 in the avant-garde review, Le Trait d’union (Hyphenated), and also the same year in the Dadaist magazine Littérature. In 1922 he published his first book, a collection of surrealistic aphorisms, with the title Rrose Selavy (upon the name (pseudonym) of the popular French artist Marcel Duchamp). In 1919, he met the poet Benjamin Péret who actually introduced him to the Paris Dada group and André Breton, with whom he soon became a friend. While working as a literary columnist for Paris-Soir, Desnos was an active member of the Surrealist group and developed a particular talent for “automatic writing”. He, together with writers such as Louis Aragon and Paul Eluard, would form the literary vanguard of surrealism. But although he was praised by Breton in his 1924 Manifeste du Surréalisme for being the movement’s "prophet", Desnos disagreed with Surrealism’s involvement in communist politics, which caused a rift between him and Breton. Desnos continued work as a columnist. In 1926 he composed The Night of Loveless Nights, a lyric poem dealing with solitude curiously written in classic quatrains, which makes it more like Baudelaire than Breton. Desnos fell in love with Yvonne George, a singer whose obsessed fans made his love impossible. He wrote several poems for her including those in his collection La liberté ou l'amour! (1927).

i've dreamed of you so much
I've dreamed of you so much that you're losing your reality.
Is it already too late for me to ... [read poem]
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