Daily Archives: November 11, 2016

Le Refus Absurde

While reading and fantasizing
about the French Resistance
before dawn,

I come across the term
“le Refus Absurde,” used to describe
those actions early

in the Nazi occupation when,
even though it seemed certain that
the Reich would triumph and

last a thousand years, individuals
would begin to resist even though
they felt the effort was futile. They’d

slash a tire, cut a cable, write
a subversive poem, start 
an underground newspaper.  Armed

resistance only came later…Many
spoke of moments when le Refus Absurde
crystallized within them, climaxes

of incipient struggle; for some it was seeing friends
beaten or marched away, for others
the look of contempt on the faces

of German soldiers as they marched
into towns like a swarm
of sneering Twitter comments.