Poem crack 3 – Verl



State of Siege

poor omnibus driver under the tin canopy,

warming a huge chilblain inside his glove,

follows his heavy omnibus along the left bank,

and from his inflated groin thrusts away the moneybag.

And while [in the] soft shadow

where there are policemen,

the respectable interior of the bus looks at the moon

in the deep sky rocking

among its green cotton wool,

in spite of the Edict

and the still delicate hour,

and the fact that the bus is

returning to the Odeon,

the lewd wanton utters piercing cries

at the darkened square!

Francois Coppee


Rimbaud le Fils__Lire Rimbaud
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


The Sisters of Charity

The young
man whose eyes is bright, whose skin is brown;

the handsome twenty-year-old body which should go naked,

and which, its brow circled with copper, under the moon,

would have been worshipped in Persia by an unknown Genie;

impetuous, with a softness both virginal and dark,

proud of his first obstinacies,

like the young seas, tears of summer nights,

turning on beds of diamonds;

The young man face with the ugliness of this world,

shudders in his heart, generously provoked;

and filled with the deep unhealing wound,

begin to desire his sister of charity.

But O Woman, heap of bowels, sweet compassion,

you never are the sister of charity,

never: neither your dark look,

nor your belly where sleeps a russet shadow,

nor your light fingers, nor splendidly shaped breasts.

Blind one, unawakened, with enormous rises,

the whole of our union is only a questioning;

it is you who hang on us,

O bearer of breasts;

it is we who nurse you, charming, grave Passion.

Your hatreds, your unmoving torpors, your failings,

and your brutalization suffered long ago,

you give everything back to us,

O Night still without malevolence,

like an excess of blood which is shed every month. –

When Woman, taken on for an instant, terrifies him;

love, the call of life and song of action; they come,

the green Muse and burning Justice,

to tear him to pieces with their august obsessions.

Ah! Thirsting without cease for splendours and calms,

forsaken by the two implacable Sisters,

whimpering fondly after knowledge

whose arms are full of nourishment,

he brings to nature in flower his forehead covered with blood.

But dark alchemy and sacred study are repugnant to the wounded one,

the somber scholar of pride;

he feels marching towards him atrocious solitudes.

Then, and still handsome, without disgust of the coffin,

he must believe in vast purposes,

in immense Dreams or Journeys across the night of Truth,

and he must call you in his soul and sick limbs,

O mysterious Death, O sister of charity!

June 1871


A Season in Hell__A Season in Hell & Other Works
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


The Sleeper in the Valley

It is a green
hollow where a stream gurgles,

crazily catching silver rags of itself on the grasses;

where the sun shines from the proud mountain:

it is a little valley bubbling over with light.

A young soldier, open-mouthed, bare-headed,

with the nape of his neck bathed in cool blue cresses, sleeps;

he is stretched out on the grass, under the sky,

pale on his green bed where the light falls like rain.

His feet in the yellow flags, he lies sleeping.

Smiling as a sick child might smile, he is having a nap.

Cradle him warmly, Nature; he is cold.

No odour makes his nostrils quiver;

he sleeps in the sun, his hand on his breast, at peace.

There are two red holes in his right side.


Le Bateau Ivre__Rimbaud
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud




serious when they’re seventeen.

On a nice night, the hell with beer and lemonade

And the caf� and the noisy atmosphere!

You walk beneath the linden trees on the promenade.

The lindens smell so lovely on a night in June!

The air is so sweet that your eyelids close.

The breeze is full of sounds– they come from the town–

And the scent of beer, and the vine, and the rose…


You look
up and see a little scrap of sky,

Dark blue and far off in the night,

Struck with a lopsideded star that

drifts by With little shivers, very small and white…

A night in June! Seventeen! Getting drunk is fun.

Sap like champagne knocks your head awry…

Your mind drifts; a kiss rises to your lips

And flutters like a little butterfly…


Your heart
Crusoes madly through novels, anywhere,

When through the pale pool beneath a street light,

A girl goes by with the most charming air,

In the grim shadows of her father’s dark coat.

And since she finds you marvelously na�ve,

While her little heels keep tapping along

She turns, with a quick bright look…

And on your lips, despairing, dies your song.


You are in
love. Rented out till fall.

You are in love. Poetic fires ignite you.

Your friends laugh; they won’t talk to you at all.

Then one night, the goddess deigns to write you!

That night… you go back to the caf�,

to the noisy atmosphere;

You sit and order beer, or lemonade…

Nobody’s serious when they’re seventeen,

And there are linden trees on the promenade.



Collected Poems__Total Eclipse
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud





Flash Work









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KEGSPOTTER 2002-2006




Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


Night in Hell

have just swallowed a terrific mouthful of poison. –Blessed, blessed,
blessed the advice I was given!

–My guts are on fire. The power of the poison twists my arms and legs,
cripples me, drives me to the ground. I die of thirst, I suffocate,
I cannot cry. This is Hell, eternal torment! See how the flames rise!
I burn as I ought to. Go on, Devil! I once came close to a conversion
to the good and to felicity, salvation. How can I describe my vision;
the air of Hell is too thick for hymns! There were millions of delightful
creatures in smooth spiritual harmony, strength and peace, noble ambitions,
I don’t know what all. Noble ambitions! But I am still alive! Suppose
damnation is eternal! A man who wants to mutilate himself is certainly
damned, isn’t he? I believe I am in Hell, therefore I am. This is the
catechism at work. I am the slave of my baptism. You, my parents, have
ruined my life, and your own. Poor child! –Hell is powerless against
pagans. –I am still alive! Later on, the delights of damnation will
become more profound. A crime, quick, and let me fall to nothingness,
condemned by human law. Shut up, will you shut up! Everything here is
shame and reproach– Satan saying that the fire is worthless, that my
anger is ridiculous and silly. –Ah, stop! …those mistakes someone
whispered– magic spells, deceptive odors, childish music– and to think
that I possess the truth, that I can have a vision of justice: my judgment
is sound and firm, I am prime for perfection…. Pride. –My scalp begins
to tighten. Have mercy! Lord, I am afraid! Water, I thirst, I thirst!
Ah, childhood, grass and rain, the puddle on the paving stones, Moonlight
when the clock strikes twelve…. The devil is in the clock tower, right
now! Mary! Holy Virgin!… –Horrible stupidity. Look there, are those
not honorable men, who wish me well? Come on… a pillow over my mouth,
they cannot hear me, they are only ghosts. Anyway, no one ever thinks
of anyone else. Don’t let them come closer. I must surely stink of burning
flesh…. My hallucinations are endless. This is what I’ve always gone
through: the end of my faith in history, the neglect of my principles.
I shall say no more about this; poets and visionaries would be jealous.
I am the richest one of all, a thousand times, and I will hoard it like
the sea. O God– the clock of life stopped but a moment ago. I am no
longer within the world. –Theology is accurate; hell is certainly down
below– and heaven is up on high. Ecstasy, nightmare, sleep, in a nest
of flames. How the mind wanders idly in the country… Satan, Ferdinand,
blows with the wild seed. .. Jesus walks on purple thorns but doesn’t
bend them… Jesus used to walk on troubled waters. In the light of
the lantern we saw him there, all white, with long brown hair, standing
in the curve of an emerald wave….

I will tear the veils from every mystery– mysteries of religion or
of nature, death, birth, the future, the past, cosmogony, and nothingness.
I am a master of phantasmagoria.

Listen! Every talent is mine! –There is no one here, and there is someone:
I wouldn’t want to waste my treasure. –Shall I give you African chants,
belly dancers? Shall I disappear, shall I begin an attempt to discover
the Ring? Shall I? I will manufacture gold, and medicines. Put your
faith in me, then; faith comforts, it guides and heals. Come unto me
all of you– even the little children– let me console you, let me pour
out my heart for you– my miraculous heart! –Poor men, poor laborers!
I do not ask for prayers; give me only your trust, and I will be happy.
Think of me, now. All this doesn’t make me miss the world much. I’m
lucky not to suffer more. My life was nothing but sweet stupidities,

Bah! I’ll make all the ugly faces I can! We are out of the world, that’s
sure. Not a single sound. My sense of touch is gone. Ah, my ch�teau,
my Saxony, my willow woods! Evenings and mornings, nights and days….
How tired I am! I ought to have a special hell for my anger, a hell
for my pride– and a hell for sex; a whole symphony of hells! I am weary,
I die. This is the grave and I’m turning into worms, horror of horrors!
Satan, you clown, you want to dissolve me with your charms. Well, I
want it. I want it! Stab me with a pitchfork, sprinkle me with fire!
Ah! To return to life! To stare at our deformities. And this poison,
this eternally accursed embrace! My weakness, and the world’s cruelty!
My God, have pity, hide me, I can’t control myself at all! I am hidden,
and I am not. And as the Damned soul rises, so does the fire.

A Season in Hell & Illuminations__Rimbaud
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


Nina’s Replies

your breast on my breast, eh?

We could go, with our nostrils full of air,

into the cool light of the blue good morning

that bathes you in the wine of daylight? ..

When the whole shivering wood bleeds,

dumb with love, from every branch green drops, pale buds,

you can feel in things unclosing the quivering flesh:

you would bury in the Lucerne your white gown,

changing to rose-colour in the fresh air

the blue tint which encircles your great black eye,

in love with the country, scattering everywhere,

like champagne bubbles, your crazy laughter:

laughing at me, suddenly, drunkenly –

I should catch you like this – lovely hair, ah! –

I should drink in your taste of raspberry and strawberry, oh flower-flesh!

Laughing at the fresh wind kissing you like a thief,

at the wild rose teasing you pleasantly:

laughing more than anything, oh madcap, at your lover!…

(Seventeen! You’ll be so happy! Oh the big meadows!

The wide loving countryside! – Listen, come closer!�)

Your breast on my breast, mingling our voices,

slowly we’d reach the stream; then the great woods!…

Then, like a little ghost, your heart fainting,

you’d tell me to carry you, your eyes half closed�

I’d carry your quivering body along the path:

the bird would spin out his andante:

Hard by the hazel tree.. I’d speak into your mouth;

and go on, pressing your body like a little girl’s

I was putting to bed, drunk with the blood that runs blue

under your white skin with its tints of rose:

and speaking to you in that frank tongue..

There!… that you understand�

Our great woods would smell of sap,

and the sunlight would dust with fine gold

their great green and bronze dream.

In the evening? � We’d take the white road which meanders,

like a grazing herd, all over the place�

Oh pleasant orchards with blue grass and twisted apple trees!

How you can smell a whole league off their strong perfume!

We’d get back to the village when the sky was half dark;

and there’d be a smell of milking in the evening air;

it would smell of the cowshed full of manure,

filled with the slow rhythm of breathing,

and with great backs gleaming under some light or other;

and right down at the far end there’d be a cow dunging

proudly at every step� – Grandmother’s spectacles

and her long nose deep in her missal;

the jug of beer circled with pewter foaming among

the big-bowled pipes gallantly smoking:

and the frightful blubber lips which, still puffing,

snatch ham from forks: so much, and more:

the fire lighting up the bunks and the cupboards.

The shining fat buttocks of the fat baby

on his hands and knees who nuzzles into the cups;

his white snout tickled by a gently growling

muzzle that licks all over the round face of the little darling�

(Black and haughty on her chair’s edge,

a terrifying profile, an old woman in front of the embers, spinning)

What sights we shall see, dearest, in those hovels,

when the bright fire lights up the grey window panes!…

– And then, small and nestling right inside the cool dark lilacs:

the hidden window smiling in there�

You’ll come! You will come! I love you so! It will be lovely.

You will come, won’t you? And even�

She: – And what about my office?

August 15,



Rimbaud__I Promise to be Good
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud




Where the
stars sleep in the calm black stream,

Like some great lily, pale Ophelia floats,

Slowly floats, wound in her veils like a dream.

— Half heard in the woods, halloos from distant throats.

A thousand years has sad Ophelia gone Glimmering on the water, a phantom

A thousand years her soft distracted song Has waked the answering evening

The wind kisses her breasts and shakes

Her long veils lying softly on the stream;

The shivering willows weep upon her cheeks;

Across her dreaming brows the rushes lean.

The wrinkled water lilies round her sigh;

And once she wakes a nest of sleeping things

And hears the tiny sound of frightened wings;

Mysterious music falls from the starry sky.


Oh pale Ophelia,
a beautiful as snow!

Yes, die, child, die, and drift away to sea!

For from the peaks of Norway cold winds blow

And whisper low of bitter liberty;

For a breath that moved your long heavy hair

Brought strange sounds to your wandering thoughts;

Your heart heard Nature singing everywhere,

In the sighs of the trees and the whispering of night.

For the voice of the seas, endless and immense,

Breaks your young breast, too human and too sweet;

For on an April morning a pale young prince,

Poor lunatic, sat wordless at your feet!

Sky! Love! Liberty! What dream, poor young Thing!

you sank before him, snow before fire,

Your own great vision strangling your tongue,

Infinity flaring in your blue eye!


And the Poet
says that by starlight you came

To pick the flowers you loved so much,

at night, And he saw, wound in her veils like a dream,

Like some great lily, pale Ophelia float.

Arthur Rimbaud__Rimbaud by Wallace Folie
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


The Orphans’ New Year’s Gift

The room
is full of shadow; you can hear, indistinctly, the sad soft whispering
of two children.

Their foreheads lean forward, still heavy with dreams, beneath the long
white bed-curtain

which shudders and rises… Outside the birds crowd together, chilled;

their wings are benumbed under the grey tints of the skies; and the New

with her train of mist, trailing the folds of her snowy garment,

smiles through her tears, and shivering, sings…


But the little
children, beneath the swaying curtain, talk in low voices as one does
on a dark night.

Thoughtfully they listen as to a far-off murmur… They tremble often
at the clear golden voice of the

morning chime repeatedly striking its metallic refrain beneath its glass

And then, the room is icy… you can see, strewn here and there on the
floor round the beds,

mourning clothes: the bitter blast of winter which moans at the threshold
blows its melancholy

breath into the house! You can feel, in all this, that there is something

Is there then no mother for these little children? No mother full of fresh
smiles and looks of triumph?

Did she forget, last night, stooping down by herself, to kindle a flame
saved from these ashes,

and to heap up the blankets and eiderdown on them before leaving them,

calling out to them: forgive me! Did she not forsee the chill of the morning?

Did she forget to close the door against the blast of winter? A mother’s
dream is the warm coverlet,

the downy nest, where children, huddled like pretty birds rocked by the

sleep their sweet sleep full of white dreams. — And here? — it is like
a nest without feathers or warmth,

where the little ones are cold, do not sleep, are afraid; a nest that
the bitter blast must have frozen…


Your heart
has understood: — these children are motherless. No mother in the place
any more!…

and their father is far away!… — An old servant woman, then, has taken
them under her care.

The little ones are alone in the icy house; four-year-old orphans, see
how in their thoughts,

little by little, a smiling memory awakes… It’s like a rosary which
you tell, praying: —

Ah, what a beautiful morning, that New Year’s morning!

Everyone had dreamt of his dear ones that night,

in some strange dream where you could see toys, sweets covered with gold,
sparkling jewels,

all whirling an echoing dance, and then disappearing beneath the curtain,
and then reappearing!

You awoke in the morning and got up full of joy with your mouth watering,
rubbing your eyes…

You went with tangled hair and shining eyes, as on holiday mornings,

little bare feet brushing the floor, to tap softly on your parents’ door…
You went in!…

And then came the greetings… in your nightshirt, kisses upon kisses,
and fun all allowed!


Ah how charming
it was, those words so often spoken! — But how the old home has changed!

There used to be a big fire crackling bright in the grate, so that the
old bedroom was all lit up by it;

and the red reflection from the great hearth would play over the gleaming
furniture… —

There was no key in the cupboard!… the big brown cupboard with no key!…

You kept looking at the dark brown door… No key!… That was strange!…

you kept wondering about the mysteries sleeping within its wooden sides;
and you seemed to hear,

from the bottom of the huge keyhole, a far-off sound, an indistinct and
joyful murmur…

Their parents’ bedroom is quite empty now: there is no red reflection
shining under the door;

there are no parents, no fire, no hidden keys; and so there are no kisses

or pleasant surprises! Oh how sad their New Year’s Day will be! — And

while a bitter tear falls silently from their big blue eyes,

they murmur: ‘Oh when will our mother come back?’…


Now the little
ones are dozing sadly: you would say, to see them,

that they are crying in their sleep, their eyes are so swollen, their
breathing so painful!

Small children have such sensitive hearts! — But the guardian angel of
the cradle comes and

wipes their eyes and puts a happy dream into their heavy slumber, such
a joyous dream that

their half-open lips seem, smiling, to murmur something. They are dreaming
that, leaning

on their small round arms, in the sweet gesture of awakening, they lift
their heads and gaze

mildly about them… They seem to have fallen asleep in some rose-coloured

The fire crackles merrily in the bright hearth… Through the window you
can see a lovely

blue sky over there; nature is awakening and becoming drunk again with

the earth, half-bare, happy to be alive again, trembles with joy beneath
the sun’s kisses.

In the old home all is warm and flushed: no longer are there mourning
garments strewn on the floor,

and the draught has at least ceased to moan under the door… You would
say that a fairy

had passed this way!… The children, full of happiness, give two cries…

Here, near their mother’s bed in a beautiful rose-coloured ray of light,

here on the big carpet, something shines… It is two silvery plaques,
black and white,

glittering with mother-of-pearl and jet; little black frames and wreaths
of glass,

with three words engraved in gold: ‘TO OUR MOTHER’…


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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud



the slope of the knoll angels

whirl their woolen robes

in pastures of emerald and steel.

Meadows of flame leap up to the summit of the little hill.

At the left, the mold of the ridge is trampled by all the homicides

and all the battles, and all the disastrous noises

describe their curve. Behind the right-hand

ridge, the line of orients and of progress.

And while the band above the picture is composed of the revolving

and rushing hum of seashells and of human nights,

The flowering sweetness of the stars and of the night

and all the rest descends, opposite the knol

l, like a basket,– against our face, and

makes the abyss perfumed and blue below.

Rimbaud Complete__Poesies / Une Saison en Enfer
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud



winding movement on the slope beside the rapids of the river.

The abyss at the stern, The swiftness of the incline,

The overwhelming passage of the tide,

With extraordinary lights and chemical wonders.

Lead on the travelers Through the wind spouts of the valley

And the whirlpool. These are the conquerors of the world,

Seeking their personal chemical fortune;

Sport and comfort accompany them;

They bring education for races, for classes, for animals

Within this vessel, rest and vertigo. In diluvian light,

In terrible evenings of study.

For in this conversation in the midst of machines,

Of blood, of flowers, of fire, of jewels,

In busy calculations on this fugitive deck,

Is their stock of studies visible, —

Rolling like dike beyond The hydraulic propulsive road,

Monstrous, endlessly lighting its way —

Themselves driven into harmonic ecstasy

And the heroism of discovery.

Amid the most amazing accidents,

Two youths stand out alone upon the ark, —

Can one excuse past savagery? —

And sing, upon their watch.

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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud




Your soul is like a painter’s landscape where charming masks in shepherd
mummeries are playing lutes and dancing with an air of being sad in their
fantastic guise. Even while they sing, all in a minor key, of love triumphant
and life’s careless boon, they seem in doubt of their felicity, their
song melts in the calm light of the moon, the lovely melancholy light
that sets the little birds to dreaming in the tree and among the statues
makes the jets of slender fountains sob with ecstacy.

by C. F. MacIntyre

That Cafe Crowded with Fools We Stood

that cafe crowded with fools we stood

Just us two for the hideous turpitude

of liking men; they never thought, the cunts.

We sat on their dim-witted innocence

Their standard loves, their tiny gold rules

While holding to our principles and tools

We swung and parried to our heart’s content

Veiled in a cloud on peaceful pipes had sent

Like Zeus and Hera in their nebulous bed

Till our two Punch noses glad and red

Wiped by our fingers with delightful squeezed

Under our table jetted great white sneezes.



one was fifteen years old, the other sixteen

And they both slept in the same little room.

It happened on an oppressive

September eve–

Fragile things! blue-eyed with cheeks of ivory.

To cool their frail bodies each removed

Her dainty chemise fresh with the perfume of amber.

The younger raised her hands and bent backwards,

And her sister, her hands on her breasts, kissed her.

Then fell on her knees, and, in a frenzy,

Grasped her limbs to her cheek, and her mouth

Caressed the blonde gold within the grey shadows:

And during all that time the younger counted

On her darling fingers the promised waltzes,

And, blushing, smiled innocently.

–translated by Francois Pirous


has overcome the gently babbling daughters

Who’d distract him to desire; despite fleshly delight

That might lure the virgin youth, the temptation

To love their swelling breasts and gentle babble;

He has vanquished fair Womankind, of subtle heart,

Her tender arms outstretched and her throat pale;

From harrowing Hell, he now returns triumphant,

Bearing a heavy trophy in his boyish hands,

With the spear that pierced the Saviour’s side!

He who healed the King shall be himself enthroned,

As priest-king and guardian of the sacred treasure.

In golden robe he worships that sign of grace,

The pure vessel in which shines the Holy Blood. –

And, o those children’s voices singing in the dome!

Your Light Quite Fail

your light quite fail,

Already paling star,

(The quail Sings in the thyme afar!)

Turn on the poet?s eyes

That love makes overrun?

(See rise The lark to meet the sun!)

Your glance, that presently

Must drown in the blue morn;

(What glee Amid the rustling corn!)

Then flash my message true

Down yonder,?far away!?

(The dew Lies sparkling on the hay.)

Across what visions seek

The Dear One slumbering still.

(Quick, quick! The sun has reached the hill!)

— Translated by Gertrude Hall


long sobs the violin-throbs

of autumn wound

my heart with languorous and montonous sound.

Choking and pale When i mind the tale

the hours keep,

my memory strays down

other days and I weep;

and I let me go where ill winds blow

now here, now there,

harried and sped, even as a dead

leaf, anywhere.

the land…”

Covering the land?

Dismal, endless plain?

Blurring the terrain,

Snow haze gleams like sand.

Bronze the sky, with no Glimmering of light:

Is the moon to grow Dim, and die tonight?

In the woods, close by,

Billows the fog, cloaks

Gray the cloud-like oaks

Floating on the sky. Bronze the sky,

with no Glimmering of light:

Is the moon to grow Dim,

and die tonight?

Scrawny wolves, and you,

Wheezing ravens, when

Winds blow sharp, what then?

What? What can you do?

Covering the land?

Dismal, endless plain?

Blurring the terrain,

Snow haze gleams like sand.

–Translated by Norman R. Shapiro

De Lune

soul is the choicest of countries

where charming maskers, masked shepherdesses,

go playing their lutes and dancing, yet gently

sad beneath their fantastic disguises.

While they sing in a minor key

of all-conquering love and careless fortune,

they don?t seem to trust in their own fantasy

and their song melts away in the light of the moon,

in the quiet moonlight, lovely and sad,

that makes the birds dream in the trees, all

the tall water-jets sob with ecstasies,

the slender water-jets rising from marble.


shell, encrusted, we see,

in the cave where we achieved love?s goal,

has its own peculiarity.

One has the purple colour of souls,

ours, thief of the blood our heart?s possess

when I burn, and you flame like hot coals.

That one affects your languorousness,

your pallor, your weary form

angered by my mocking eyes? caress:

this one mimics the charm of your ear,

and this I see your rosy neck,

so full and warm:

but one, among all of them, troubled me.



























































Total Eclipse









the young auburn woman,

By such innocence aroused,

Said to the blonde young girl

These words, in a soft low voice:

‘Sap which mounts, and flowers which thrust,

Let my fingers wander in the moss

Where glows the rosebud

‘Let me among the clean grasses

Drink the drops of dew

Which sprinkle the tender flower, —

‘So that pleasure, my dear,

Should brighten your open brow

Like dawn the reluctant blue.’

Her dear rare body, harmonious,

Fragrant, white as white

Rose, whiteness of pure milk, and rosy

As a lily beneath purple skies?

Beauteous thighs, upright breasts,

The back, the loins and belly, feast

For the eyes and prying hands

And for the lips and all the sense

‘Little one, let us see if your bed

Has still beneath the red curtain

The beautiful pillow that slips so

And the wild sheets. O to your bed!’

–translated by Roland Grant and Paul Archer

Young Fools

were struggling with a full-length dress

So that, between the wind and the terrain,

At times a shining stocking would be seen,

And gone too soon. We liked that foolishness.

Also, at times a jealous insect’s dart

Bothered out beauties.

Suddenly a white

Nape flashed beneath the branches, and this sight

Was a delicate feast for a young fool’s heart.

Evening fell, equivocal, dissembling,

The women who hung dreaming on our arms

Spoke in low voices, words that had such charms

That ever since our stunned soul has been trembling.

The Feast Of Corn

the feast of corn, ’tis the feast of bread,

On the dear scene returned to, witnessed again!

So white is the light o?er the reapers shed

Their shadows fall pink on the level grain.

The stalked gold drops to the whistling flight

Of the scythes, whose lightning dives deep, leaps clear;

The plain, labor-strewn to the confines of sight,

Changes face at each instant, gay and severe.

All pants, all is effort and toil ?neath the sun,

The stolid old sun, tranquil ripener of wheat,

Who works o?er our haste imperturbably on

To swell the green grape yon, turning it sweet.

Work on, faithful sun, for the bread and the wine,

Feed man with the milk of the earth, and bestow

The frank glass wherein unconcern laughs divine,?

Ye harvesters, vintagers, work on, aglow!

For from the flour?s fairest, and from the vine?s best,

Fruit of man?s strength spread to earth?s uttermost,

God gathers and reaps, to His purposes blest,

The Flesh and the Blood for the chalice and host!

–Translated by Gertrude Hall


Hills and fences hurry by

Blent in greenish-rosy flight,

And the yellow carriage-light

Blurs all to the half-shut eye.

Slowly turns the gold to red

O?er the humble darkening vales;

Little trees that flatly spread,

Where some feeble birdling wails.

Scarcely sad, so mild and fair

This enfolding Autumn seems;

All my moody languor dreams,

Cradled by the gentle air.

–Translated by Gertrude Hall


I am the Empire in the last of its decline,

That sees the tall, fair-haired Barbarians pass,–

the while Composing indolent acrostics,

in a style Of gold,

languid sunshine dancing in each line.

The solitary soul is heart-sick with a vile Ennui.

Down yon, they say, War’s torches bloody shine.

Alas, to be so faint of will, one must resign

The chance of brave adventure in the splendid file,-

Of death, perchance! Alas, so lagging in desire!

Ah, all is drunk! Bathyllus, has done laughing, pray?

Ah, all is drunk,–all eaten!

Nothing more to say!

Alone, a vapid verse one tosses in the fire;

Alone, a somewhat thievish slave neglecting one;

Alone, a vague disgust of all beneath the sun!


music before everything?

And for this like the Odd more?

Vaguer and more melting in air,

Without anything in it

which weighs or arrests.

It must also be that you do not go about

Choosing your words without some carelessness:

Nothing dearer than the greyish song

Where the Wavering and Precise are joined.

Something like beautiful eyes behind veils,

Something like the trembling wide day of noon,

Something like (when made gentle by an autumn sky)

The blue jumble of clear stars!

For we desire Nuance yet more?

Not color, nothing but Nuance!

Oh! only nuance brings

Dream to dream and flute to horn!

Keep away from the murderous Sharp

Saying, Cruel Wit and Impure Laugh,

Which make weep the eyes of Blue Space?

And all that garlic of low cooking.

Take eloquence and wring its neck!

You will do well, in energetic mood,

To use Rhyme made wise somewhat.

If it is not watched, where may it not go?

Oh, who can tell the wrong-doings of Rhyme?

What deaf child or mad black man

Has made for us this penny toy,

That sounds hollow and false heard precisely.

Let music be, more of it and always!

Let your verse be the thing in motion

Which one feels who flees from an altering soul,

Towards other skies to other loves.

Let your verse be the happy occurrence,

Somehow within the restless morning wind,

Which goes about smelling of mint and thyme…

And all the rest is literature.

–Translated by Eli Siegel


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All Rights Reserved on Verlaine Poems