Jules La Forgue 1860-1887 Uruguay-France

The Cigarette

Indeed, this world is flat;
as for the other, nonsense.
With hopeless resignation, I accept my fate,
And to kill time while I await
Death, smoke thin cigarettes in the face of the gods.

Go, struggle on, poor skeletons to be.
As for me, the blue stream which winds heavenward
Plunges me in an infinite ecstasy and drugs
Me like the dying scent of a thousand perfume jars.

And I enter paradise, blossoming with clear dreams,
Where one sees, coupled in fanatic waltzes,
Choirs of mosquitoes and elephants in heat.

And when I awake thinking of my poem,
With joyous heart I contemplate,
My dear thumb roasted like a drumstick.

(translated by William J. Smith)

Jules La Forgue was a Franco-Uruguayan symbolist, and impressionist poet.He was influenced by Walt Whitman, and influenced Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot.