Pourquoi venir aupres de moi? Why draw close to me?

Sometimes, I cannot find the words to speak for myself. Then I find a book, or a story or a quote that perfectly encapsulates my feelings. Very rarely, a poem will do. I say rarely because I have always struggled with reading poetry for enjoyment. It requires absolute engagement with the content, and a contextual background always helps, and I rarely have the time to do that. Or rather I am too lazy and have no time for it.

This poem was the source of much chagrin, being the resource for my French poetry course “dissertation. “It was agonizing to analyse.

Now that it is over and handed in, I can appreciate, though marginally, the poem. It spoke to me. It is by Victor Hugo, French word-smith  I have translated it into English.

 

Why come near me then?

If you have nothing to say to me, 

Why do you draw close to me? 

Why do you make me smile so,

Such a smile as would turn a king’s head.

If you have nothing to say to me,

Why do you draw close to me so?

If you have nothing to teach me,

Why should I press your hand?

The angelic and tender dream

which you are thinking along the way. 

If you have nothing to teach me,

Why should I press your hand?

If you wish me to leave.

Why are you here?

When I see you, I tremble

It is my joy and my worry.

If you wish me to leave,

Why are you here?

 

This is exactly how I feel about the boy on whom I am currently crushing . I really like him. A lot. That is so rare for me that when it happens, I am in a ruptures and absolutely head over heels. My friend sternly told me off for falling too quickly. He was right. I cannot help it. Beneath my crusty exterior is a soft romantic soul, gentle and peaceful. Deep within! I am hopeless with this boy. I find everything about him fascinating and perfect and worthy to be analysed for hours on end. The way he smiles so easily, the way his legs bend when he walks, his cheekbones, his shoes. The words he so carelessly tosses my way keep me up at night.

 

The Crush, the last time I went out, was out and about, laughing, dancing, drinking, oblivious of how perfect he was to me.  I was out , and he was there. I did not seek him out. But he stuck around. But he behaved strangely. My refrain was and remains, “no one asked him to stay! “He could have excused himself any time and gone off wherever he needed to be. But he stayed. But was not present. That was torturous. He was there, but he was not. And that was even worse than his not being there at all. And yet I clung to that as a sign of something. Of what? I am not altogether too sure. I was just so happy that he was there that I could not be utterly upset that he did not leave. That makes sense in my mind.

 

When I read this poem, what the poet was saying completely made sense to me . “If you have nothing to say to me, why do you draw close to me?” It only made me feel like a crazy person. Perhaps I was imagining things. Perhaps his behaviour was not bizarre. Perhaps I am the weird one who reads into situations where it is uncalled for. Maybe he was lonely. Maybe he felt I was lonely. Maybe I looked unhappy and in need of company. It makes me crazy.

 

Why do you draw close if you have nothing to say to me. Rather go away and let me admire you from afar, not allow our awkward familiarity to breed contempt of you in my mind. Sigh. Why am I this way?

 

Written a few months ago.

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