Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

le Bestiaire, ou Cortège d'Orphée (1911, gravures Raoul Dufy)




Le Boeuf
Ce chérubin dit la louange
Du paradis, où, près des anges,
Nous revivrons, mes chers amis,
Quand le bon Dieu l’aura permis.
De os
Deze cherubijn zingt het loflied
Van het paradijs, waar, bij de engelen,
Wij zullen herleven, mijn lieve vrienden,
Als het de goede God belieft.

This cherub sings the praise
Of paradise, where, close to the angels,
We’ll live again, my dear friends,
When the good Lord will allow it.



zie noot van Apollinaire
see Apollinaire's note.



   This Cherub
Among the celestial hierarchy dedicated to the service and glory of God, we distinguish beings of unknown form of the most stunning beauty. Cherubim are winged oxen, not monstrous at all.

  Whenever the good Lord allows.
Those who excercise poetry seek and love nothing but perfection which is the nature of God Himself. And this divine goodness and supreme perfection would these evade those whose lives have no other aim but to reveal and glorify them? That would seem impossible, and in my opinion poets have the right to hope that after death they will find everlasting happiness, which a full knowledge of God gives, that is to say, sublime beauty.