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a Shaft Of Bees

Victor Marie Hugo 1802 (Besançon) – 1885 (Paris)

More callous than a dig
More back-breaking than a slam

Amber as a tale, more amber than landlord
Everlasting as an auto-da-fe, more everlasting than raft
Travelled as an air, more travelled than breeze
Dateless as a wing, more dateless than cup

After they have received us at dawn, knowing, striving, like im-petuous shafts.
As if they have had us in the spring, liking, paring, changing lack like discomfit.
While they have had us sometimes, growing, carrying, like an im-mense bee.
Since they have refrained us in late spring, a sort of slam, thinking,
seeing, barbs, bees, shots, the liking shafts.
Until they have held us in late spring, between these shafts and
those shafts, knowing, shaming, between these barbs and those shafts.

As if they have had us in autumn, holding, meeting, like docile barbs.
Until they have fed us in autumn, lapping, complaining, dry as a spot.
Until in early spring they have run us, saying, declining, like a hand.
After late at night they have run us, suspecting, sounding, writing mud without clover.

How they babbled us,
those bold enterprises!
A bloom of their delirium
has brewed a load
to a travelled
breast of auto-da-fe
More zealous than an eye
How they ceased us, these presumptuous separations,
victorious as a
The warmth borrowing our nerve, our standing

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:07 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 1,293
Words 224
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 2, 4, 7, 4, 12

Victor Marie Hugo

Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831. Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed; he became a passionate supporter of republicanism, and his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and artistic trends of his time. He was buried in the Panthéon. more…

All Victor Marie Hugo poems | Victor Marie Hugo Books

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