Éluard, Gala, Poésy

12 March 2021  |  Culture

Paul Éluard, Picasso, Poésie, Poésy et Paris

Paul Éluard (1895 - 1952) was a French poet and one of the founders of the Surrealist movement. During World War II he was the author of several poems against Nazism and became known worldwide as ‘The Poet of Freedom’ and is considered the most gifted of French surrealist poets.

Paul Éluard, Gala

Our story here concerns his love affair with a Russian girl, Helena Diakonova, whom he called Gala. Confiding in her his dream to become a poet, they became inseparable. Following ill health in 1914, Éluard returned to Paris, and Gala to Moscow. Gala longed to be reunited with Éluard again and found a passage to Paris - in 1917, they were married. Living in Paris, their relationship became complicated with other artists they became involved with. In 1928, Gala met Salvador Dali and remained with him for the rest of her life. Whiist Éluard remarried also, he remained infaturated by Gala. Over the years, he continued to write many letters and poems to her.

Gala Courtesy

 © Wikipedia 

Éluard and Picasso

From 1931 to 1935, Éluard traveled through Europe as an ambassador of the Surrealist movement. In 1936, in Spain, he learned of the Franquist counter-revolution, against which he protested violently. The following year, the bombing of Guernica inspired him to write the poem "Victory of Guernica". During these two terrible years for Spain, Éluard and Picasso were inseparable.

Éluard and Picasso

 © Eileen Agar 

Éluard died in November 1952 at his home in Charenton-le-Pont, a suburb of Paris. His funeral, organised by the French Communist Party was held in Père Lachaise Cemetary, where his grave now rests. A crowd of thousands spontaneously gathered in the streets of Paris to accompany Éluard's casket to the cemetery. That day, French poet Robert Sabatier wrote: "the whole world was mourning”.

Clémence Poésy recites Éluard

Click on this link to watch, Clémence Poésy recite a letter from Paul to Gala from the Isle de France, Paris; https://www.nowness.com/topic/reading/lettres-grande-with-clemence-poesy

Éluard, Clémence Poésy lettre à Gala

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Hugh Atkins

Co-founder of Pure France. 20 years of visiting and photographing fabulous properties, meeting fascinating people and driving every main and back road in France.

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