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Rene Char (1907-1988)
...was a French poet who began writing as a Surrealist. He lived in Paris in the 1920's and associated with other Surrealist writers. During World War II, he led a Resistance unit in the French Alps. After the war, Char's work became more existential and expressed anger at the brutality of the war. His most famous collections are Leaves of Hypnos (1946), which is a poetic journal of the war years, and The Hammer Without a Master (1934), an early volume of Surrealist poetry.


The Violent Rose

Eye in a trance silent mirror
As I approach I depart
Buoy in the battlements

Head against head to forget all
Until the shoulder butts the heart
The violent Rose
Of ruined and transcendent lovers.