Reading the poem L’oiseau-cage by Marcel BÉALU, I don't quite get it. It sounds a wish from a child, that a beautiful place everyone he/she loves would live together happily. Is it so? or there are actually other meanings?

The full content of the poem is as below


-Marcel BÉALU

De ce brillant plumage
Faisons vite un oiseau

Un bel oiseau tout rond
Qui sera notre cage

Un grand avion vivant
Calfeutré comme un cœur

Tous ceux que nous aimons
Seront à l’intérieur

Et par vaux et par monts
Nos voix à l’unisson

Clamerons l’allégresse
De cet oiseau géant

Dont nous serons le chant

1 Answer 1


This strikes me as a surrealist poem. The following definition, although overly simple and reductionist, can be of some help here:

Surrealist work: a work of art, all the elements of which are recognisable as representative of real-world phenomena, but where there is something impossible about how those elements relate to each other.

In accordance with this, we recognise every element in the poem as being something real: the shiny feathers, the act of making something, the bird, its roundness, the cage, the big airplane, etc. However, when it comes to putting these things together, the realism evaporates: Starting with only feathers, we are asked to create a huge, round bird — an airplane, in fact — in which we can travel with our loved ones, over the hills and far away, while singing its praises.

If this resembles a dream, it’s because it probably is. Surrealist art is often seen as a reflection or interpretation of dreams, and of the subconscious generally. That also means that surrealism does not seek to convey a specific meaning: we are free to read into it whatever resonates with us. A reading of the poem as the depiction of a place of happiness for a family or a group of people who love each other absolutely makes sense, but basically any other interpretation is possible.

  • i like the explanation, thanks!
    – athos
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 14:19

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