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Alphaville – Capital of pain, Paul Eluard poems

Anna Karina, the Danish-born actress who became a symbol of the French New Wave in Jean Luc Godard’s 1960s films, died on Saturday in Paris. She was 79.

In Jean-Luc Godard’s futuristic detective movie Alphaville (1965) there is a famous scene in which Natacha (Anna Karina) recites some lines of poetry. She is holding a copy of Paul Eluard’s Capital of Pain. The full text of the quote is as follows:

“Your voice, your eyes, your hands, your lips

Our silence, our words

Light that goes, light that returns

A single smile between us

In quest of knowledge I watched night create day

Oh beloved of all, beloved of one alone

Your mouth silently promised to be happy

Away, away, says hate

Closer, closer, says love

A caress leads us from our infancy

Increasingly I see the human form as a lovers’ dialog

The heart has but one mouth

Everything by chance

All words without thought

Sentiments adrift

A glance, a word, because I love you

Everything moves

We must advance to live

Aim straight ahead towards those you love

I went toward you, endlessly toward the light

If you smile, it enfolds me all the better

The rays of your arms pierce the mist”






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