“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

13 thoughts on ““Un seul être vous manque, et tout est dépeuplé”

  1. Beautifully written. I used to feel so alone no matter where I was. It was like I just couldnt connect to the people around me. I was so focused on my self and my hurt that I didn’t see the hurt in others I didnt see the Love in others. I missed out on alot of great opportunities to interact and meet wonderful loving people because I was so caught up in my feelings.

    I am so happy it is not that way today. Spending my day interacting with the world full of people that are screaming into the void for love and affection, recognizing that you all are my kindred spirits and that we are all looking for the same thing understanding and love. I realize now I have the ability to share that with people. I can Love because I now Know how to accept Love. It is all around us. Thanks for writing I love the translation. I wish I knew other languages besides only English.
    Maybe I will work on that, haha

    1. Hello Matthew, always glad to see you 🙂 Thanks you for reading and your valuable thoughts! Yes they are many reasons to be lonely and sad, I wanted today o focus on missing that one person…
      I’m glad you reached this point so far after what you went through! It requires lot of courage and persistence as I already mentioned. Well yes you should probably try to learn other languages, for me it’s a great pleasure, I love to learn new languages and understand as many people as I can! But of course I procrastinated a lot through the years and as you, some days were rough and could hardly survive…But I’m on it, beside my mother language (Arabic), I speak French and English and will learn Spanish soon.
      Wish you all the best always 🙂 And probably in learning new language who knows!

      1. Thank you, so nice of you 🙂 French was my second language at school and I learned English alone, from reading, songs, movies…etc…then practice 🙂 Many don’t believe so, but this is the truth
        Now for Spanish I will have courses with the Spanish cultural center in Lebanon “Cervantes” or another language center, it depends on timings and so, but I started on Udemy a free course then I stopped…I have family in Spain and Mexico so I know some things 🙂

      2. Wow, that’s incredible. My best friend is from Tunisia and is like that he learned English watching friends. Haha. He learned 6 languages like that. So amazing you seem to be the same way.

      3. Yes I usually learn fast when I’m excited about something but lack of practice is what makes you forget the language. Your friend seems a genius 🙂

  2. There was a time when I felt that life was pointless. That was way back when i stumbled into a slight depression. I allowed myself to be swallowed up in all the sadness I felt. Good thing it was just a phase and I got over it. Nothing shouldn’t be pointless. Everything should have a place and meaning in our life and nothing should be taken for granted:)

    1. Sure, nobody should stay there, it’s just having this feeling once, sometimes it’s just for a short time…But I agree with you that nothing and nobody should be taken for granted, that we should appreciate each breath and live the moment 😊 But we shouldn’t deny this feeling once we have it, we embrace it and then we just move on
      Thank you for reading and for all your valuable interactions 😊

      1. Yes I agree with you about embracing that moment. Even if it is a dark place.. we can get a lot from it. We learn from the said experience and we can even gather enough inspiration to write a great blog post such as this. It’s always about looking at every silver lining amidst the darkness that surrounds us 😊

      2. Thank you for the great and encouraging words as always😊
        Exactly, bad or good, we always learn something and get inspired, in the darkest of nights the stars shine the brightest!

  3. Good morning Huguette, i know the feeling and i can understand, when we are with many people, they are talking with us, but we feel so alone and just answering to them because we want to be polite, great post. Yes sometimes there are those days when everything looks meaningless specially when we lose someone, hopefully there are always the light the end❤️

    1. Good afternoon dear Ilona 😊 it’s always great to see you you reading my old posts and I do appreciate your time so much 🙏🏻
      I love this sentence so much to the extent to write a post about it and as you described, we reply politely but we’re not actually here
      There’s always a light, always a hope because life goes on and never stops
      Have a great weekend 😊❤️

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