Déjeuner du Matin

There is a poem by Jacques Prévert that I had to act out last semester in French. It is:

Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler
Il a allumé
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder
Il s’est levé
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis
Son manteau de pluie
Parce qu’il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Sans me regarder
Et moi j’ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j’ai pleuré.

For those of you who don’t speak french, this poem is about a person who watches a man make his coffee, almost like a ritual, and then leave without looking at him/her. Then the person watching cries. I always thought the poem reflected some sort of modernist existentialism; humans are so disconnected from each other than no one acknowledges anyone anymore.

But lately, my life has been just like this: going through the motions and failing to communicate with the people around me. I don’t know if it’s the distractions this world has to offer on social media. I don’t know if it’s the sheer amount of schoolwork I have to complete. And I don’t know if it’s the deeper emotional toils that I’m slowly managing. But, I’ve realized I have turned into l’homme dans la poème. Because I am both a poet and a person of systems, I like to think it has something to do with the winter months. However, my rational self cannot be alright with giving that excuse. So, here I go. I will work on being happy. I will work on being aware of my surroundings and connecting with the people around me. Because if we cannot see beyond the milk in our coffee, then what are we doing at all?



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