Tuesday, March 14, 2017



The room’s a widow
Each man for himself
New arrivals
It’s rent by the month

The landlord doubts
If we’ll pay up
I spin around
Like a child’s top

The racket of taxis
My ugly neighbor
Who smokes a foul
English tobacco

O La Vallière
Who limps & laughs
At my prayers
The bedside table

And all together
In this hotel
We understand language
As they did at Babel

We shut our doors
With double locks
Each man supplies
His only love

Guillaume Apollinaire, “Hôtels”
Translation by Jack Hayes
© 2017

La Vallière refers to Louise de La Vallière, mistress of King Louis XIV.

Image connects to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Rue de Constantine, Paris” 1855
Charles Marville
Public domain

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