Simone de Beauvoir Writes

She sits in the Dôme, the Coupole
writing letters to Soldat Sartre:

. . . pourquoi la conscience humaine
. . . why would the human conscience

contruisait un monde
construct a world

avec des données et des distances et des masses
with givens and distances and masses

qui ne soit pas à la mésure de l’homme?
which are not based on the human scale?

Things are big in all the wrong ways, demeaning us.

Riding on her bicycle through a Paris grey as Occupation
she asks herself:

Qu’est-ce que c’est qu’une guerre?
But what is war?

Compassion, fashion: she neglects neither.
She describes the new turban she has bought,
in love with love and the tender language of description.
She professes herself content with

cette chance merveilleuse
this marvellous good luck

d’être dans le même monde
to be in the same world

as this man she loves.

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