“Un seul être vous manque, et tout est dépeuplé”
This line is from a very famous poem “L’Isolement” for the French writer and poet: Alphonse de Lamartine. He wrote this poem to mourn the woman he loved. It’s a very sad yet great poem.
In high school we have studied many poems including some of Lamartine poems and I still remember the example that the teacher gave us to understand this line“Un seul être vous manque, et tout est dépeuplé”.
She said sometimes you find yourself sitting in the schoolyard or elsewhere, looking around and saying: there’s no one here today…Even though it’s crowded! Why? Because the person we like, love or care about is absent.
I still remember her words as if they were said today! Because it’s happening the entire time! Since we started to feel and understand, we look around and we don’t see the person we love the most, so we say: there’s no one here! It’s a dull day, I’m bored…What a sad day…
I remember these feelings very well! My entire mood used to change when the person I want to see the most is not there.
“Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé” means literally: One person is missing and the world seems depopulated or empty, or the whole place is deserted…there are many ways to say it.
And it applies also when we wander around nagging that no one loves us, no one cares, why all the people are happy and I’m not?
Well, look around, there are people that are dying to be with you but you don’t care! So what we really mean: why “this person” doesn’t love me! Why “this person” is not here!
“Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé” and the whole paragraph is as following :
“Que me font ces vallons, ces palais, ces chaumières,
Vains objets dont pour moi le charme est envolé ?
Fleuves, rochers, forêts, solitudes si chères,
Un seul être vous manque, et tout est dépeuplé!”
Have you ever looked around and everything seems meaningless? The forests, the sea, the palaces, the houses, money, luxury, success…Everything is tasteless, pointless!
If you didn’t feel this, experience this emptiness, means you didn’t lose anyone dear or you didn’t miss someone you love so deeply that you cried your heart out when they are away or probably will never come back or maybe you just didn’t have the privilege to love them so they remained an unreachable dream, so beautiful and perfect but when we wake up, it disappeared!
Is this feeling familiar to you? Share your thoughts and feelings.
H.A – January 31st 2019