I've Dreamt of You So Often

Robert Desnos

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I've dreamt of you so often that you become unreal.

Is there still time to reach this living body and to kiss on its mouth the birth of

the voice so dear to me?

I've dreamt of you so often that my arms used to embracing your shadow and

only crossing on my own chest might no longer meet your body's shape.

And before the real appearance of what has haunted and ruled me for days

and years I would doubtless become a shadow.

Oh the shifts of feeling.

I've dreamt of you so often that it is doubtless no longer time for me to wake. I

sleep standing, my body exposed to all the appearances of life and love and you,

who only count today for me, I could touch your forehead and your lips less

easily than any other lips and forehead.

I've dreamt of you so often, walked, spoken, slept so often with your phantom

that perhaps all that yet remains for me is to be a phantom among the phantoms

and a hundred times more shadow than the shadow which saunters and will

saunter so gladly over the sundial of your life.

Robert Desnos, "I've Dreamt of You So Often" (translated to English by Mary Ann Caws) from The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry. Copyright © 2004 by Yale University Press. Reproduced by permission of Yale University Press.

Source: The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry (Yale University Press, 2004)