It’s Like That

Jacques Prévert and Ida Chagall- Photo by Gisèle Freund. Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1953.
Ida Chagall, the only child of the artist Marc Chagall married twice (Michel Gordey was her fisrt husband) and had three children by her second husband, Franz Meyer, a former director of the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland.

 
 

“A sailor has left the sea
his ship has left the port
the king has left the queen
and a miser has left his gold
it’s like that
A widow has left her grief
a crazy woman has left the madhouse
and your smile has left my lips
it’s like that
You will leave me
you will leave me
you will leave me
you will come back to me
you will marry me
you will marry me
The knife marries the wound
the rainbow marries the rain
the smile marries the tears
the caress marries the frown
it’s like that
And fire marries ice
and death marries life
and life marries love
You will marry me
you will marry me
you will marry me,”

Jacques Prévert

The Young Lovers

Jacques Prévert and Jacqueline Laurent, photo by Wols (Wolfgang Schulze), 1939

 
 

LES ENFANTS QUI S’AIMENT

“Les enfants qui s’aiment s’embrassent debout

Contre les portes de la nuit


Et les passants qui passent les désignent du doigt

Mais les enfants qui s’aiment

Ne sont là pour personne

Et c’est seulement leur ombre

Qui tremble dans la nuit


Excitant la rage des passants


Leur rage leur mépris leurs rires et leur envie

Les enfants qui s’aiment ne sont là pour personne

Ils sont ailleurs bien plus loin que la nuit


Bien plus haut que le jour

Dans l’éblouissante clarté de leur premier amour.”

Jacques Prévert

 
 

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“The young lovers embrace standing up

Against the doorways of the night

And passers-by who go by point a finger at them

But the young lovers

Aren’t there for anyone

And it is only their shadow

That trembles in the night

Arousing the rage of the passers-by

Their rage their scorn their laughter and their jealousy

Young lovers are not there for anyone

They are elsewhere much further away than the night

Much higher than the day

In the wonderment of their first love”.

All Feminine Beings

“All women, all feminine beings, girls or lovers, mothers or prostitutes, women who sacrifice themselves, young wives or orphans, little working-class girls or women of the world, are physically beautiful, well built, agreeable to view, to desire, to caress.”

Jacques Prévert

 
 

Prévert placed emphasis on the emancipation of women as a prerequisite for the emotional fulfillment of men. Throughout his verse as well as his scripts, Prévert attributes a nearly beatific status to children, birds, hobos, flowers, and –that rarest of breeds– uninhibited men and women in love