La Métamorphose de Narcisse

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La Métamorphose de Narcisse / Metamorphosis of Narcissus
автор Сальвадор Дали / Salvador Dali, пер. Edward James (1907–1984)
Язык оригинала: французский. — Дата создания: 1937.

La Métamorphose de Narcisse, Salvador Dali (1937)

La Métamorphose de Narcisse


Quand l’anatomie claire et divine de Narcisse
se penche sur le miroir obscur du lac,
quand son torse blanc plié en avant
se fige, glacé,
dans la courbe argentée et hypnotique de son désir,
quand le temps passe
sur l’horloge des fleurs du sable de sa propre chair,
Narcisse s’anéantit dans le vertige cosmique
au plus profond duquel chante
la sirène froide et dionysiaque de sa propre image.
Le corps de Narcisse se vide et se perd
dans l’abîme de son reflet,
comme le sablier que l’on ne retournera pas.
Narcisse, tu perds ton corps,
emporté et confondu par le reflet millénaire de ta disparition,
ton corps frappé de mort
descend vers le précipice des topazes aux épaves jaunes de l’amour,
ton corps blanc, englouti,
suit la pente du torrent férocement minéral
des pierreries noires aux parfums âcres,
ton corps…
jusqu’aux embouchures mates de la nuit
au bord desquelles
étincelle déjà
toute l’argenterie rouge
des aubes aux veines brisées dans "les débarcadères du sang".
comprends-tu ?
La symétrie, hypnose divine de la géométrie de l’esprit, comble déjà ta tête de ce
sommeil inguérissable, végétal, atavique et lent
qui dessèche la cervelle
dans la substance parcheminée
du noyau de ta proche métamorphose.
La semence de ta tête vient de tomber dans l’eau.
L’homme retourne au végétal
et les dieux
par le sommeil lourd de la fatigue
par l’hypnose transparente de leurs passions.
Narcisse, tu es si immobile
que l’on croirait que tu dors.
S’il s’agissait d’Hercule rugueux et brun,
on dirait : il dort comme un tronc
dans la posture


d’un chêne herculéen.
Mais toi, Narcisse,
formé de timides éclosions parfumées d’adolescence transparente,
tu dors comme une fleur d’eau.
Voilà que le grand mystère approche,
que la grande métamorphose va avoir lieu.
Narcisse, dans son immobilité, absorbé par son reflet avec la lenteur digestive des
plantes carnivores, devient invisible.
Il ne reste de lui
que l’ovale hallucinant de blancheur de sa tête,
sa tête de nouveau plus tendre,
sa tête, chrysalide d’arrière-pensées biologiques,
sa tête soutenue au bout des doigts de l’eau,
au bout des doigts,
de la main insensée,
de la main terrible,
de la main coprophagique,
de la main mortelle
de son propre reflet.
Quand cette tête se fendra
Quand cette tête se craquellera,
Quand cette tête éclatera,
ce sera la fleur,
le nouveau Narcisse,
Gala – mon narcisse

Salvador Dali


In conjunction with Metamorphosis of Narcissus Dalí wrote an eponymous poem composed, allegedly, in order to amplify the effect of the painting.6 The poem was published in 1937 in a limited edition by Éditions surréalistes, and shortly thereafter the English poet and collector Edward James (1907–1984) undertook an English translation, which was published through the Julien Levy Gallery in New York.7 The full text of the poem is given here:

Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Under the split in the retreating black cloud
the invisible scale of spring
is oscillating
in the fresh April sky.
On the highest mountain,
the god of the snow,
his dazzling head bent over the dizzy space of reflections,
starts melting with desire
in the vertical cataracts of the thaw
annihilating himself loudly among the excremental cries of minerals,
between [sic] the silences of mosses
towards the distant mirror of the lake
in which,
the veils of winter having disappeared,
he has newly discovered
the lightning flash
of his faithful image.
It seems that with the loss of his divinity the whole high plateau
pours itself out,
crashes and crumbles
among the solitude and the incurable silence of iron oxides
while its dead weight
raises the entire swarming and apotheosic
plateau from the plain
from which already thrust towards the sky
the artesian fountains of grass
and from which rise,
and hard,
the innumerable floral spears
of the deafening armies of the germination of the narcissi.
Already the heterosexual group, in the renowned poses of preliminary expectation, conscientiously ponders over the threatening libidinous cataclysm, the carnivorous blooming of its latent morphological atavisms.
In the heterosexual group,
in that kind date of the year
(but not excessively beloved or mild),
there are
the Hindou
tart, oily, sugared
like an August date,
the Catalan with his grave back
well planted
in a sun-tide,
a Whitsuntide of flesh inside his brain,
the blond flesh-eating German,
the brown mists
of mathematics
in the dimples
of his cloudy knees, there is the English woman,
the Russian,
the Swedish women,
the American
and the tall darkling Andalusian,
hardy with glands and olive with anguish.
Far from the heterosexual group, the shadows of the avanced [sic] afternoon draw out across the countryside, and cold lays hold of the adolescent’s nakedness as he lingers at the water’s edge.
When the clear and divine body of Narcissus
down to the obscure mirror of the lake,
when his white torso folded forward
fixes itself, frozen,
in the silvered and hypnotic curve of his desire,
when the time passes
on the clock of the flowers of the sand of his own flesh,
Narcissus loses his being in the cosmic vertigo
in the deepest depths of which
is singing
the cold and Dyonisiac siren of his own image.
The body of Narcissus flows out and loses itself
in the abyss of his reflection,
like the sand glass that will not be turned again.
Narcissus, you are losing your body,
carried away and confounded by the millenary reflection of your
your body stricken dead
falls to the topaz precipice with yellow wreckage of love,
your white body, swallowed up,
follows the slope of the savagely mineral torrent
of the black precious stones with pungent perfumes,
your body ...
down to the unglazed mouths of the night
on the edge of which
there sparkles already
all the red silverware
of dawns with veins broken in ‘the wharves of blood’.
do you understand?
Symmetry, divine hypnosis of the mind’s geometry, already fills up your
with that incurable sleep, vegetable, atavistic, slow
Which withers up the brain
in the parchment substance
of the kernel of your nearing metamorphosis.
The seed of your head has just fallen into the water.
Man returns to the vegetable state
by fatigue-laden sleep
and the gods
by the transparent hypnosis of their passions.
Narcissus, you are so immobile
one would think you were asleep.
If it were a question of Hercules rough and brown,
one would say: he sleeps like a bole [sic]
in the posture
of an Herculean oak.
But you, Narcissus,
made of perfumed bloomings of transparent adolescence,
you sleep like a water flower.
Now the great mystery draws near,
the great metamorphosis is about to occur.
Narcissus, in his immobility, absorbed by his reflection with the digestive slowness of carnivorous plants, becomes invisible.
There remains of him only
the hallucinatingly white oval of his head,
his head again more tender,
his head, chrysalis of hidden biological designs,
his head held up by the tips of the water’s fingers,
at the tips of the fingers
of the insensate hand,
of the terrible hand,
of the excrement-eating hand,
of the mortal hand
of his own reflection.
When that head slits
when that head splits
when that head bursts,
it will be the flower,
the new narcissus,
Gala –
my narcissus.