Poem crack 6

Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


The
Accursed Cherub

Bluish
roofs and white doors
As on nocturnal Sundays,
At the town’s end,
the road without Sound is white,
and it is night.

The street has strange houses
With shutters of angels.
But look how he runs towards a Boundary-stone,
evil and shivering, A dark cherub who staggers,
Having eaten too many jububes.
He does a cack : then disappears :
But his cursed cack appears,
Under the holy empty moon,
A slight cesspool of dirty blood !
Louis Ratisbonne.
*A.Rimbaud.

Somebody Else__Poetics of Indeterminancy
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


A Dream for Winter

In the winter,
we will leave in a small pink railway carriage
With blue cushions. We will be comfortable.
A nest of mad kisses lies In each soft corner.
You will close your eyes, in order not to see, through the glass,
The evening shadows making faces.
Those snarling monstrosities, a populace
Of black demons and black wolves.
Then you will feel your cheek scratched…
A little kiss, like a mad spider, Will run around your neck…
And you will say to me: “Get it!” as you bend your neck –
And we will take a long time to find that creature –
Which travels a great deal…

Rimbaud__Rimbaud
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


After The Flood

As soon
as the idea of the Deluge had subsided,
A hare stopped in the clover and swaying flowerbells,
and said a prayer to the rainbow,
through the spider’s web.

Oh! the precious stones that began to hide,–
and the flowers that already looked around.
In the dirty main street, stalls were set up
and boats were hauled toward the sea,
high tiered as in old prints.

Blood flowed at Blue Beard’s,–
through slaughterhouses, in circuses,
where the windows were blanched by God’s seal.
Blood and milk flowed. Beavers built.

“Mazagrans” smoked in the little bars.
In the big glass house, still dripping,
children in mourning looked
at the marvelous pictures.

A door banged; and in the village square
the little boy waved his arms,
understood by weather vanes
and cocks on steeples everywhere,
in the bursting shower.

Madame *** installed a piano in the Alps.
Mass and first communions were celebrated
at the hundred thousand altars of the cathedral.
Caravans set out. And Hotel Splendid was built
in the chaos of ice and of the polar night.

Ever after the moon heard jackals howling
across the deserts of thyme,
and eclogues in wooden shoes growling in the orchard.
Then in the violet and budding forest,
Eucharis told me it was spring.

Gush, pond,– Foam, roll on the bridge and over the woods;–
black palls and organs, lightening and thunder, rise and roll;–
waters and sorrows rise and launch the Floods again.
For since they have been dissipated–
oh! the precious stones being buried and the opened flowers!–
it’s unbearable! and the Queen, the Witch who lights her fire
in the earthen pot will never tell us what she knows,
and what we do not know.

Childhood

I.
That idol, black eyes and yellow mop, without parents or court,
nobler than Mexican and Flemish fables;
his domain, insolent azure and verdure,
runs over beaches called by the shipless waves,
names ferociously Greek, Slav, Celt.

At the border of the forest– dream flowers tinkle, flash, and flare,–
the girl with orange lips, knees
crossed in the clear flood that gushes from the fields,
nakedness shaded, traversed, dressed by rainbow, flora, sea.

Ladies who stroll on terraces adjacent to the sea;
baby girls and giantesses,
superb blacks in the verdigris moss,
jewels upright on the rich ground
of groves and little thawed gardens,–
young mothers and big sisters with eyes full of pilgrimages,
sultanas, princesses tyrannical of costume and carriage,
little foreign misses and young ladies gently unhappy.
What boredom, the hour of the “dear body” and “dear heart.”

II.
It is she, the little girl, dead behind the rosebushes. —
The young mamma, deceased, comes down the stoop.–
The cousin’s carriage creaks on the sand.–
The little brother (he is in India!) there,
before the western sky in the meadow of pinks.

The old men who have been buried upright
in the rampart overgrown with gillyflowers.
Swarms of golden leaves surround the general’s house.
They are in the south.–

You follow the red road to reach the empty inn.
The chateau is for sale; the shutters are coming off.
The priest must have taken away the key of the church.
Around the park the keepers’ cottages are uninhabited.

The enclosures are so high that nothing
can be seen but the rustling tree tops.
Besides, there is nothing to be seen within.
The meadows go up to the hamlets without anvils or cocks.

The sluice gate is open.
O the Calvaries and the windmills of the desert,
the islands and the haystacks!
Magic flowers droned.

The slopes cradled him.
Beasts of a fabulous elegance moved about.
The clouds gathered over the high sea,
formed of an eternity of hot tears.

III.
In the woods there is a bird;
his song stops you and makes you blush.
There is a clock that never strikes.
There is a hollow with a nest of white beasts.

There is a cathedral that goes down and a lake that goes up.
There is a little carriage abandoned in the copse
or that goes running down the road beribboned.
There is a troupe of little actors in costume, glimpsed on the road
through the border of the woods.
And then, when you are hungry and thirsty,
there is someone who drives you away.

IV.
I am the saint at prayer on the terrace
like the peaceful beasts
that graze down to the sea of Palestine.
I am the scholar of the dark armchair.
Branches and rain hurl themselves at the windows of my library.
I am the pedestrian of the highroad by way of the dwarf woods;
the roar of the sluices drowns my steps.
I can see for a long time the melancholy wash of the setting sun.
I might well be the child abandoned on the jetty
on its way to the high seas, the little farm boy following the lane,

its forehead touching the sky. The paths are rough.
The hillocks are covered with broom.
The air is motionless. How far away are the birds and the springs!
It can only be the end of the world ahead.

V.
Let them rent me this whitewashed tomb, at last,
with cement lines in relief,– far down under ground.
I lean my elbows on the table,
the lamp shines brightly on these newspapers
I am fool enough to read again, these stupid books.
An enormous distance above my subterranean parlor,
houses take root, fogs gather.
The mud is red or black.
Monstrous city, night without end!
Less high are the sewers. At the sides,
nothing but the thickness of the globe.
Chasms of azure, wells of fire perhaps.
Perhaps it is on these levels that moons and comets meet,
fables and seas. In hours of bitterness,
I imagine balls of sapphire, of metal.
I am master of silence.
Why should the semblance of an opening
pale under one corner of the vault?

Rimbaud__A Season in Hell / Illuminations
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Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud – Work Compilations, Poetries, Total Eclipse, Paul Verlaine

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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

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RIMBAUD
BIOGRAPHY

 

 


1854: Jean-Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud born October 20, 1854 at Charleville, now part of Charleville-Mezieres, in the Ardennes departement in northeastern France, in his maternal grandfather's house. His father, Frederic Rimbaud was a Captain of Infantry, risen to his rank from that of a simple recruit. He is the author of certain unpublished military works and the french-translated Koran, which Arthur will later use to learn Arabic.


1862: Rimbaud goes as a day boy to the Rossat Institute in Charleville. The story: "The sun was still warm, it hardly lit up the earth any more, however; just as a torch placed against the… only lights them up with a feeble light, so the sun, torch of the earth, was going out, letting a last feeble light escape from its body of fire, which nevertheless allowed the green leaves of the trees, the little fading flowers, and the enormous tops of the centuries-old pines, poplars, and okas to be seen. The refreshing wind, that is to say a fresh breeze, moved the leaves of the trees with a rustling somewhat similar to that which the silvery waters of the brook made, flowing at my feet. The ferns bent their green heads before the wind. I fell asleep, not without refreshing myself with the water of the brook.
I dreamt that… I was born in Rheims, in the year 1503.
At that time Rheims was a little town, or, to put it better, a borough, nevertheless famous for its beautiful cathedral, witness to the coronation of king Clovis."


Rimbaud is 3rd from left sitting down

1865: Rimbaud enters the College de Charleville, aged ten.

1868: Rimbaud addresses 'under the strictest secrecy', sixty Latin hexameters to the Imperial Prince on the occasion of the latter's first Communion; his tutor asks Rimbaud's headmaster to thank him publicly. (see poem The ball-boy, the Pubescent)

1869: Rimbaud wins the Latin Poetry Prize at the Concours Academique. His first known french verse composition, Les Etrennes des orphelins, is written. It appears in the Revue pour tous on January 2, 1870.


Rimbaud with brother Frederic on his Communion

1870: Rimbaud movies up to the Class of Rhetoric, and became friends with Georges Izambard. Izambard is a young teacher with revolutionary tendencies, who encourages him, to the outage of his mother, to read Rabelais and Hugo. In his 15th year Rimbaud is already a poet. He writes to Banville but too late to have his Sensation, Ophelie, and Soleil et chair published in Parnasse contemporain; but his 'Premiere Soiree' appears, under the tittle 'Trois Baisers', in a satirical periodical called La Charge. On August 29, Rimbaud sells his prize books and takes the train to Paris, hoping to witness the fall to Imperial Government. He rans away another time from home to Belgium, where he writes La Maline, Au Cabaret-Vert, Le Buffet, Reve pour l'hiver and Ma Boheme. He took off to Brussels, where he appears unannounced at the house of some friends of Izambard's, who send him to Douai where Izambard's adoptive 'aunts' live. There he writes Rages de Cesars, L'Elatante Victoire de Sarrebruck, Le Dormeur du val, and Le Mal.

1871: He frequently ran away from home and may have briefly joined the Paris Commune, which he portrayed in his poem L'Orgie parisienne ou Paris se repeuple. At 19, he ran away from the literary world for a stint abroad as a coffee merchant and part-time gun-runner. He may have been raped by drunken Communard soldiers (his poem "Le Coeur supplicie" suggests so). By then he had become an anarchist, started drinking and amused himself by shocking the local bourgeois with his shabby dressing and long hair. At the same time he wrote to Izambard and Paul De?meny about his method for attaining poetical transcendence or visionary power through a "long, immense and rational derangement of all the senses" "Les lettres du Voyant". He returned to Paris in late September 1871 at the invitation of the eminent Parnassian poet Paul Verlaine (after Rimbaud had sent him a letter containing several samples of his work) and resided briefly in Verlaine's home. Verlaine, who was bisexual, promptly fell in love with the sullen, blue-eyed, overgrown 5'10", light-brown-haired adolescent. They became lovers and led a dissolute, vagabond-like life rocked by absinthe and hashish. They scandalized the Parisian literary elite on account of the outrageous behaviour of Rimbaud, the archetypical enfant terrible, and their pederasty. Throughout this period he continued to write strikingly visionary, modern verses.

1872: Rimbaud and Verlaine spend their days in the cafes of the Quartier Latin. Verlaine's mother-in-law accused Rimbaud of corrupting Verlaine on the account between Verlaine;s constant violence with his wife, who has given birth to a son in October 1871, and is only 18. Rimbaud turned to the streets of Paris where he learned to drink absinthe and to smoke hashish. On his return to Charleville in March 1872, he writes the poems Memoire, Michel et Christine, Larme, La Riviere de Cassis, Comedie de la soif, Bonne Pensee du matin, Fetes de la patience, and Chanson de la plus haute tour. In June he writes his last poems in verse Est-elle almee?, Age d'or, Fetes de la faim, O saisons, o chateaux, and the beginning of the period of Illuminations.

1873: Although Rimbaud said that Paris was just a 'pretty little provincial town', the Illuminations called 'metropolitan' and 'villes' seem to be very vivid and convincing descriptions of the horror of a large city such as London was at that time. The possibility that Rimbaud and Verlaine learned to smoke opium in Chinese dens near the Docks may help to explain the distortion of vision one encounters in these prose poems. Rimbaud returnes to Roche, where his mother's farm is, in April. Rather than help on the farm, he shuts humself up to begin writing Une Saison en Enfer. Verlaine manages to persuade Rimbaudto go to England with him, which Rimbaud soon regrets. It is also said that at this time Rimbaud fell in love with a girl he saw on the Underground whom he used to follow home but dared not speak to; thus his work Bottom.After a violent quarrel, Verlaine leaves Rimbaud and goes to Brussels, where Rimbaud follws him, and the shooting occurs. Verlaine fires two shots at Rimbaud, one of which hits him in the wrist; thus the poem Deposition. Rimbaud goes back to Roche in sling and finishes Une Saision en Enfer. Verlaine is sent to prison for 2 years.

1874: Having arranged to have Une Saison en Enfer printed in Belgium, Rimbaud renounced literature and loses interest, thus leaving the printing to halt, with only half a dozen author's copies remaind at the printer's until 1914. With intentions of perfecting his English, Rimbaud set off to London with Germain Nouveau,a young poet he met in Paris. He teaches in various establishments in England and Scotland. The two of them both hold British Museum Library reader's tickets.


Young Rimbaud

Rimbaud Sculpture


1875: Travel in Germany, Italy, Switzerland. Studies German, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Dutch and modern Greek. Joins the Dutch colonial army on a six-year engagement; deserts in Batavia after 3 weeks in the East Indies, and returns to France on an English sailing ship, walking home from Bordeaux. Visits Vienna, Holland, Germany, Sweden and Denmark. Verlaine converted to Catholicism and begs Rimbaud to become so too on their last meeting in Stuttgart.

1877: Rimbaud sails to Alexandria from Marseille but falls sick and disembarked at Civita Vecchia, visits Rome and back to Charleville during winter.

1880: He is in Cyprus directing operations for the building of the Governor-General's residence. Rimbaud became a trader in North Africa, with headquarters at Harar and Shoa, central Abyssinia. He arrives on December 13 after 20 days on horseback in the Somali desert.

1882: Rimbaud;s employers ask him to investigate the territories of Somaliland and Galla. He also became the first European to cross the territory of the unknown region of Ogadine.

1883: He got his report about Ogadine published to the Societe de Georgaphie on December 10th.

1885: Rimbaud is living as husband to an Abyssinian girl; but as he wishes to become a gun-runner, he has her repatriated. His gun-running enterprise failed. He obtains license to sell arms, ammunition and helps in slave trafficking to Turkey and Arabia.

1886: Verlaine, under the impression that Rimbaud was no longer alive, published the latter's poems in Illuminations (trans. 1932). This work contains the famous Sonnet des voyelles, in which each of the five vowels is associated with a different color.

1891: Rimbaud is attacked by a tumour on the right knee, he is worth about ?2,000: on his arrival in France in May, where his leg is amputated at the Hospital de la Conception in Marseille, which is about ?1,500. He returned home to Roche but goes back to Marseille when his condition worsens. On December 10, 1891- Rimbaud dies aged 37, in the Hospital de la Conception. On the strength of a few poems that he wrote between the ages of 10 and 20, Rimbaud ranks as one of the most original of all French poets.

________________________
1 Life of Rimbaud from ' Rimbaud Collected Poems- Edited by Oliver Bernard'
2 Wikipedia/Rimbaud
3 Arthur Rimbaud by Enid Starkie


Rimbaud in Harar

Rimbaud Grave
DATE –

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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


Faun’s Head

Among the
foliage, green casket flecked with gold;
in the uncertain foliage that blossoms
with gorgeous flowers where sleeps the kiss,
vivid, and bursting through the sumptuous tapestry,
a startled faun shows his two eyes
and bites the crimson flowers with his white teeth.

Stained and ensanguined like mellow wine,
his mouth bursts out in laughter beneath the branches.
And when he has fled – like a squirrel –
his laughter still vibrates on every leaf,
and you can see, startled by a bullfinch,
the Golden Kiss of the Wood,
gathering itself together again.

1871

Arthur Rimbaud__Arthur Rimbaud
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 




Fairy

For
Helen, in the virgin shadows and the
impassive radiance in astral silence,
ornamental saps conspired.

Summer’s ardour was confided
to silent birds and due indolence
to a priceless mourning boat
through gulfs of dead loves
and fallen perfumes.

-After the moment of the woods women’s song
to the rumble of the torrent in the ruin of the wood,
of the tinkle of the cowbells to the echo of the vales,
and the cries of the steppes.

– For Helen’s childhood, furs and shadows trembled,
and the breast of the poor and the legends of heaven.
And her eyes and her dance superior
even to the precious radiance,
to cold influences, to the pleasure of the unique
setting and the unique hour.

Lettres du Harare__A Season in Hell & Illuminations
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


Evil

While the
red-stained mouths
of machine guns ring
Across the infinite expanse of day;
While red or green,
before their posturing King,
The massed battalions break and melt away;
And while a monstrous frenzy runs a course
That makes of a thousand men a smoking pile
— Poor fools! — dead, in summer, in the grass,
On Nature’s breast, who meant these men to smile;
There is a God, who smiles upon us through
The gleam of gold, the incense-laden air,
Who drowses in a cloud of murmured prayer,
And only wakes when weeping mothers bow
Themselves in anguish, wrapped in old black shawls–
And their last small coin into his coffer falls.

From Absinthe to Abyssinia__Rimbaud a Aden
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 



Feasts
of Hunger

My
hunger, Anne, Anne, flee on your donkey.

If I have any taste, it s for hardly anything
but earth and stones.
Dinn! Dinn! Dinn! Dinn!

Let us eat air, rock, coal, iron.
Turn, my hungers.
Feed, hungers, in the meadow of sounds!
Suck the gaudy poison of the convolvuli;
Eat, the stones a poor man breaks,
the old masonry of churches, boulders,
children of floods, loaves lying in the grey valleys!

Hungers, it is bits of black air; the azure trumpeter;
it is my stomach that makes me suffer.
It is unhappiness. Leaves have appeared on earth!
I go looking for the sleepy flesh of fruit.
At the heart of the furrow I pick
Venus’ looking-glass and the violet.

My hunger, Anne, Anne, flee on your donkey.

August
1872

Total Eclipse__Selected Poems and Letters
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 



Flowers


From a golden step,– among silk cords,
green velvets, gray gauzes,
and crystal disks that
turn black as bronze in the sun,
I see the digitalis opening
on a carpet of silver filigree,
of eyes and hair. Yellow gold-pieces
strewn over agate, mahogany columns supporting
emerald domes, bouquets of white satin
and delicate sprays of rubies,
surround the water-rose.

Like a god with huge blue eyes and limbs of snow,
the sea and sky lure to the marble terraces
the throng of roses, young and strong.

Arthur Rimbaud: Le voleur de Feu__Poesies / Une Saison en Enfer
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


The First Evening

She was very
much half dressed,
and big indiscreet trees
threw out their leaves against the pane:
cunningly, and close, quite close.

Sitting half naked in my big chair,
she clasped her hands.
Her small and so delicate feet
trembled with pleasure on the floor.

The colour of wax, I watched
a little wild ray of light
flutter on her smiling lips
and on her breast – an insect on the rose-bush.

I kissed her delicate ankles.
She laughed softly and suddenly,
a string of clear trills,
a lovely laugh of crystal.

The small feet fled beneath
her petticoat: ‘Stop it, do!’ –
The first act of daring permitted,
her laugh pretended to punish me!

Softly I kissed her eyes –
trembling beneath my lips, poor things –
she threw back her fragile head:
‘Oh come now! that’s going too far!’

‘Listen, sir, I have something to say to you .. ‘
I transferred the rest to her breast in a kiss
which made her laugh with a kind laugh that was willing…
She was very much half-dressed,
and big indiscreet tress threw out their leaves
against the pane: cunningly, and close, quite close.

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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


The Seven Year Old Poet

And so the
Mother, shutting up the duty book,
Went, proud and satisfied.
She did not see the look
In the blue eyes, or how with secret loathing wild,
Beneath the prominent brow, a soul raged in her child.
All the day long he sweated with obedient zeal;
a clever boy; and yet appearing to reveal,
By various dark kinks, a sour hypocrisy.
In corridors bedecked with musty tapestry
He wouls stick out his tongue, clenching hid two fists tight
Against his groin, and with closed eyes see specks of light.
a door stood open on the evening;
when, aloof, Under a gulf og brightness hanging
from
the roof, High on the banisters they saw him crowing.
In summer, cowed and stupid,
he’d insist on going
Off to the cool latrines,
for that was where he chose to sit in peace and think,
breathing deep through his nose.
In winter-time, when, washed by all the smells of noon,
The garden plot behind the house shone in the moon;
Lying beneath a wall, in lumpy earth concealed
And straining long for visions,
till his eyesight reeled,
He listened to the creak of mangy trellises.
Soft heart! He chose out as his sole accomplices
Those wretched, blank-browed children, of slurred eye and cheek
And grubby, thin, sick fingers plunged in the clothes that reek
Of excrement: already old, whose conversation
Is held with gentle, imbecilic hesitation.
And if his mother, catching him at some foul act
Of pity, showed alarm, the child must face the fact
That to his earnest, tender mind brought grave surprise:
That’s how it was. She had the blue-eyed stare– which lies!
at seven years he wrote romance about lives
In the great desert, where an exiled Freedom thrives,
Savannahs, forests, shores and suns!
He had some aid From illustrated magazines,
whose gay parade Of Spanish and Italian ladies made him blush.
When, brown-eyed, bold, in printed cotton,
in would rush The eight-year daughter of the working-folk next door,
And when the little savage down upon him bore,
Cornered him, leaping on his back, and tossed her hair,
He from beneath would bite her thighs, for they were bare
–She never put on drawers. Then, though she grapped fast,
Pounding with fists and heels, he’d shake her off at last
And bring the odours of her skin back to his room.
He feared December Sundays, with their pallid gloom,
When with pomaded hair, from a mahogany ledge he read a Bible
with gold, green-tarnished edge.
Dreams pressed upon him in the alcove every night.
Not God he loved, but men whom by the sallow light
Of evening he would see return,
begrimed and bloused,
To suburbs where the crier’s triple roll aroused
A jostling crowd to laugh and scold at the decrees.
He dreamed of the rapt prairie, where long brilliances
Like waves and wholesome scents and golden spurts of force
Persist in their calm stir and take their airy course.
And, as he relished most all things of sombre hue,
He’d sit in the bare, shuttered chamber, high and blue,
Gripped in an acrid, piercing dampness, and would read
The novel that was always running in his head
Of heavy, ochre skies and forests under floods —
Then vertigo, collapse, confusion, ruin, woe!–
While noises of the neighborhood rose from below,
He’d brood alone, stretched out upon a canvas,
prophesying strongly of the sail!…

Das Poetische Werk__Poesia
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Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud – Work Compilations, Poetries, Total Eclipse, Paul Verlaine

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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 




Foolish
Virgin

FIRST
DELIRIUM: The Foolish Virgin / The Infernal Bridegroom

Let us hear the confession of an old friend in Hell: “O Lord, O Celestial
Bridegroom, do not turn thy face from the confession of the most pitiful
of thy handmaidens. I am lost. I’m drunk. I’m impure. What a life! “

Pardon, Lord in Heaven, pardon! Ah, pardon! All these tears! And all
the tears to come later on, I hope!

“Later on, I will meet the Celestial Bridegroom! I was born to be His
slave. –That other one can beat me now! “Right now, it’s the end of
the world! Oh, girls… my friends… no, not my friends… I’ve never
gone through anything like this; delirium, torments, anything…. It’s
so silly! “

Oh, I cry, I’m suffering! I really am suffering! And still I’ve got
a right to do whatever I want, now that I am covered with contempt by
the most contemptible hearts.

“Well, let me make my confession anyway, though I may have to repeat
it twenty times again– so dull, and so insignificant! “I am a slave
of the Infernal Bridegroom; the one who seduced the foolish virgins.
That’s exactly the devil he is. He’s no phantom, he’s no ghost. But
I, who have lost my wits, damned and dead to the world– no one will
be able to kill me– how can I describe him to you? I can’t even talk
anymore! I’m all dressed in mourning, I’m crying, I’m afraid. Please,
dear Lord, a little fresh air, if you don’t mind, please! “I am a widow–
I used to be a widow– oh, yes, I used to be very serious in those days;
I wasn’t born to become a skeleton! He was a child– or almost…. His
delicate, mysterious ways enchanted me. I forgot all my duties in order
to follow him. What a life we lead! True life is lacking. We are exiles
from this world, really– I go where he goes; I have to. And lots of
times he gets mad at me– at me, poor sinner! That Devil! (He really
is a Devil, you know, and not a man.) “He says: `I don’t love women.
Love has to be reinvented, we know that. The only thing women can ultimately
imagine is security. Once they get that, love, beauty, everything else
goes out the window. All they have left is cold disdain; that’s what
marriages live on nowadays. Sometimes I see women who ought to be happy,
with whom I could have found companionship, already swallowed up by
brutes with as much feeling as an old log….’ “I listen to him turn
infamy into glory, cruelty into charm. `I belong to an ancient race:
my ancestors were Norsemen: they slashed their own bodies, drank their
own blood. I’ll slash my body all over, I’ll tattoo myself, I want to
be as ugly as a Mongol; you’ll see, I’ll scream in the streets. I want
to get really mad with anger. Don’t show me jewels; I’ll get down on
all fours and writhe on the carpet. I want my wealth stained all over
with blood. I will never do any work….’ Several times, at night, his
demon seized me, and we rolled about wrestling! –Sometimes at night
when he’s drunk he hangs around street corners or behind doors, to scare
me to death. `I’ll get my throat cut for sure, won’t that be disgusting.’
And, oh, those days when he wants to go around pretending he’s a criminal!

Sometimes he talks, in his backcountry words, full of emotion, about
death, and how it makes us repent, and how surely there are miserable
people in the world, about exhausting work, and about saying goodbye
and how it tears your heart. In the dives where we used to get drunk,
he would cry when he looked at the people around us– cattle of the
slums. He used to pick up drunks in the dark streets. He had the pity
of a brutal mother for little children. He went around with all the
sweetness of a little girl on her way to Sunday school. He pretended
to know all about everything– business, art, medicine– and I always
went along with him; I had to!

“I used to see clearly all the trappings that he hung up in his imagination;
costumes, fabric, furniture…. It was I who lent him weapons, and a
change of face. I could visualize everything that affected him, exactly
as he would have imagined it for himself. Whenever he seemed depressed,
I would follow him into strange, complicated adventures, on and on,
into good and evil; but I always knew I could never be a part of his
world. Beside his dear body, as he slept, I lay awake hour after hour,
night after night, trying to imagine why he wanted so much to escape
from reality. No man before ever had such a desire. I was aware– without
being afraid for him– that he could become a serious menace to society.
Did he, perhaps, have secrets that would remake life? No, I told myself,
he was only looking for them. But of course, his charity is under a
spell, and I am its prisoner. No one else could have the strength–
the strength of despair!– to stand it, to stand being cared for and
loved by him. Besides, I could never imagine him with anybody else–
we all have eyes for our own Dark Angel, never other people’s Angels–
at least I think so. I lived in his soul as if it were a palace that
had been cleared out so that the most unworthy person in it would be
you, that’s all. Ah, really, I used to depend on him terribly. But what
did he want with my dull, my cowardly existence? He couldn’t improve
me, though he never managed to kill me! I get so sad and disappointed;
sometimes I say to him `I understand you.’ He just shrugs his shoulders.

And so my heartaches kept growing and growing, and I saw myself going
more and more to pieces (and everyone else would have seen it, too,
if I hadn’t been so miserable that no one even looked at me anymore!),
and still more and more I craved his affection…. His kisses and his
friendly arms around me were just like heaven– a dark heaven, that
I could go into, and where I wanted only to be left– poor, deaf, dumb,
and blind. Already, I was getting to depend on it. And I used to imagine
that we were two happy children free to wander in a Paradise of sadness.
We were in absolute harmony. Deeply moved, we labored side by side.
But then, after a piercing embrace, he would say: `How funny it will
all seem, all you’ve gone through, when I’m not here anymore. When you
no longer feel my arms around your shoulders, nor my heart beneath you,
nor this mouth on your eyes. Because I will have to go away someday,
far away. Besides, I’ve got to help out others too; that’s what I’m
here for. Although I won’t really like it… dear heart…’ And in that
instant I could feel myself, with him gone, dizzy with fear, sinking
down into the most horrible blackness– into death. I made him promise
that he would never leave me. And he promised, twenty times; promised
like a lover. It was as meaningless as my saying to him: `I understand
you.’

“Oh, I’ve never been jealous of him. He’ll never leave me, I’m sure
of it. What will he do? He doesn’t know a soul; he’ll never work; he
wants to live like a sleepwalker. Can his kindness and his charity by
themselves give him his place in the real world? There are moments when
I forget the wretched mess I’ve fallen into…. He will give me strength;
we’ll travel, we’ll go hunting in the desert, we’ll sleep on the sidewalks
of unknown cities, carefree and happy. Or else some day I’ll wake up
and his magic power will have changed all laws and morals, but the world
will still be the same and leave me my desires and my joys and my lack
of concern. Oh, that wonderful world of adventures that we found in
children’s books– won’t you give me that world? I’ve suffered so much;
I deserve a reward…. He can’t. I don’t know what he really wants.
He says he has hopes and regrets: but they have nothing to do with me.
Does he talk to God? Maybe I should talk to God myself. I am in the
depths of an abyss, and I have forgotten how to pray. “Suppose he did
explain his sadness to me– would I understand it any better than his
jokes and insults? He attacks me, he spends hours making me ashamed
of everything in the world that has ever meant anything to me, and then
he gets mad if I cry. “…

`Do you see that lovely young man going into that beautiful, peaceful
house? His name is Duval, Dufour; …Armand, Maurice, whatever you please.
There is a woman who has spent her life loving that evil creature; she
died. I’m sure she’s a saint in heaven right now. You are going to kill
me the way he killed that woman. That’s what’s in store for all of us
who have unselfish hearts….’ Oh, dear! There were days when all men
of action seemed to him like the toys of some grotesque raving. He would
laugh, horribly, on and on. Then he would go back to acting like a young
mother, or an older sister…. If he were not such a wild thing, we
would be saved! But even his sweetness is mortal…. I am his slave….

“Oh, I’ve lost my mind! “Some day maybe he’ll just disappear miraculously,
but I absolutely must be told about it, I mean if he’s going to go back
up into heaven or someplace, so that I can go and watch for just a minute
the Assumption of my darling boy….” One hell of a household!

A Season in Hell & Illuminations__Rimbaud
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KEGSPOTTER 2002
No Rights Reserved on All images and information

Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


Evening Prayer

I spend my
life sitting – like an angel
in the hands of a barber – a deeply fluted beer mug
in my fist, belly and neck curved,
a Gambier pipe in my teeth, under the air
swelling with impalpable veils of smoke.

Like the warm excrements in an old dovecote,
a thousand dreams burn softly inside me,
and at times my sad heart is like sap-wood bled
on by the dark yellow gold of its sweats.

Then, when I have carefully swallowed my dreams,
I turn, having drunk thirty or forty tankards,
and gather myself together to relieve bitter need:
As sweetly as the Saviour of Hyssops
and of Cedar I piss towards dark skies,
very high and very far;
and receive the approval of the great heliotropes.

Arthur Rimbaud__Selected Poems and Letters
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KEGSPOTTER 2002
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


Farewell

Autumn
already!… But why regret the everlasting sun, if we are sworn to a
search for divine brightness– far from those who die as seasons turn….
Autumn. Our boat, risen out of a hanging fog, turns toward poverty’s
harbor, the monstrous city, its sky stained with fire and mud. Ah! Those
stinking rags, bread soaked with rain, drunkenness, and the thousands
of loves who nailed me to the cross! Will there never, ever be an end
to that ghoulish queen of a million dead souls and bodies and who will
all be judged!, I can see myself again, my skin corroded by dirt and
disease, hair and armpits crawling with worms, and worms still larger
crawling in my heart, stretched out among ageless, heartless, unknown
figures…. I could easily have died there…. What a horrible memory!
I detest poverty. And I dread winter because it’s so cozy!

–Sometimes in the sky I see endless sandy shores covered with white
rejoicing nations. A great golden ship, above me, flutters many-colored
pennants in the morning breeze. I was the creator of every feast, every
triumph, every drama. I tried to invent new flowers, new planets, new
flesh, new languages. I thought I had acquired supernatural powers.
Ha! I have to bury my imagination and my memories! What an end to a
splendid career as an artist and storyteller! I! I called myself a magician,
an angel, free from all moral constraint…. I am sent back to the soil
to seek some obligation, to wrap gnarled reality in my arms. A peasant!
Am I deceived? Would Charity be the sister of death, for me?

Well, I shall ask forgiveness for having lived on lies. And that’s that.
But not one friendly hand… and where can I look for help? True; the
new era is nothing if not harsh. For I can say that I have gained a
victory; the gnashing of teeth, the hissing of hellfire, the stinking
sighs subside. All my monstrous memories are fading. My last longings
depart– jealousy of beggars, bandits, friends of death, all those that
the world passed by– Damned souls, if I were to take vengeance! One
must be absolutely modern. Never mind hymns of thanksgiving: hold on
to a step once taken. A hard night! Dried blood smokes on my face, and
nothing lies behind me but that repulsive little tree! The battle for
the soul is as brutal as the battles of men; but the sight of justice
is the pleasure of God alone.

Yet this is the watch by night. Let us all accept new strength, and
real tenderness. And at dawn, armed with glowing patience, we will enter
the cities of glory. Why did I talk about a friendly hand! My great
advantage is that I can laugh at old love affairs full of falsehood,
and stamp with shame such deceitful couples– I went through women’s
Hell over there– and I will be able now to possess the truth within
one body and one soul.

April-August,
1873

Rimbaud__Arthur Rimbaud
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Rights Reserved on all Rimbaud Poetry
KEGSPOTTER 2002
No Rights Reserved on All images and information

Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 





Democracy

“The
flag goes with the foul landscape,
and our jargon muffles the drum.”
In the great centers we’ll nurture
the most cynical prostitution.
We’ll massacre logical revolts.

In spicy and drenched lands!–
at the service of the most monstrous
exploitations, industrial or military.
“Farewell here, no matter where.

Conscripts of good will,
ours will be a ferocious philosophy;
ignorant as to science, rabid for comfort;
and let the rest of the world croak.
This is the real advance. Marching orders, let’s go!”

Illuminations__Rimbaud
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KEGSPOTTER 2002
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

ARTHUR
RIMBAUD POETRY

 


Departure

Everything
seen…
The vision gleams in every air.
Everything had…
The far sound of cities, in the evening,
In sunlight, and always.
Everything known…
O Tumult! O Visions!
These are the stops of life.
Departure in affection,
and shining sounds.

Les Illuminations__Somebody Else
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KEGSPOTTER 2002
No Rights Reserved on All images and information
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