Poems crack 1 – Letters




Lips Sealed

in Rome)

There is in Rome at the Sistine,

covered with Christian emblems,

a little scarlet skullcap in which

ancient noses lie drying:

noses of Thebaid ascetics,

noses of canons of the Holy Grail,

in which leaded-hued night coagulated,

and the old sepulchral plainchant.

In their mystic desiccation every morning

there is poured schimatic filth

reduced to a fine powder.

*Leon Dierx




Scapin tickles a rabbit under his coat.

Columbine –

who got fucked –

Do, mi – strums

On the rabbit’s eye which soon,

losing control, gets tipsy.

Paul Verlaine


Poesies / Une Saison en Enfer__Poetics of Indeterminancy
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud












1844: Paul Marie Verlaine is considered one of the greatest and most popular of French poets. Born in Metz on MArch 30, 1844, he was educated at a lycee in Paris and then took up a post in the civil service. He began writing poetry at an early age, and was initially influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Charles Leconte de Lisle.
1867: Verlaine’s first published collection, Poemes saturniens, though criticised by Sainte-Beuve, established him as a poet of promise and originality. Verlaine’s private life spills over into his work, beginning with his love for Mathilde Maut鬠who became his wife. Mathilde Maute is referred to as a disciple of Louise Michel.

1870: At the proclamation of the French Third Republic, Verlaine joined the 160th battalion of the Garde nationale, turning Communard on March 18, 1871. He became head of the press bureau of the Central Committee of the Paris Commune. He escaped the deadly street fighting known as the Bloody Week, or the “Semaine Sanglante” and went into hiding in Pas-de Calais.

1871: He returned to Paris in August. In September 1871 he received the first letter of Arthur Rimbaud.

1872: He had lost interest in Mathilde, and effectively abandoned her and their son, preferring the company of his lover, the poet Arthur Rimbaud. Verlaine was a heavy drinker, and shot Rimbaud in a jealous rage, fortunately not killing him. As an indirect result of the incident, he was arrested and imprisoned at Mons, where he underwent a religious conversion, which again influenced his work. Romances sans paroles was the poetic outcome of this period. Following his release, Verlaine travelled to England, where he worked for some years as a teacher and worked on another successful collection, Sagesse.

1874: From that time also dates his Romances sans paroles, which shows Verlaine as one of the first of the symbolists . The sensitive appreciation of the common incidents and sights of life and the haunting and simple music of his verse, combined with the melancholy and unreal disillusion of the decadents, distinguish his poetry. More striking, however, is the candor of Verlaine himself. Through the degrading incidents of his later life, which was marked by drunkenness, poverty, and debauchery, he preserved his honesty and inverted naivete.

1877: He returned to France and, while teaching English at a school in Rethel, became infatuated with one of his pupils, Lucien Letinois, who inspired further poems. Verlaine was devastated when the boy died of typhus. Verlaine’s last years witnessed a descent into alcoholism, and poverty. Yet even in his lifetime, his poetry was recognised as ground-breaking. Perhaps the best-known of Verlaine’s poems is Chanson d’automne, largely thanks to its use as a code message for the Allies during the Second World War. Verlaine’s poetry was also popular with musicians, such as Gabriel Faure who set several of his poems to music, including La bonne chanson, and Claude Debussy, who set his entire Fetes galantes collection. Verlaine in cafe. Numerous portraits of Verlaine were left by French artists. Among the most illustrious: Henri Fantin-Latour, Antonio de La Gandara, Eugene Carriere, Frederic Cazals, and Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen.

1881: Verlaine’s turbulent marriage broke up as a result of his liaison with his young protege, Arthur Rimbaud . The two poets traveled in Belgium and England; their relationship ended in tragedy when Verlaine shot and wounded Rimbaud and was imprisoned in Belgium for two years. In prison he was brought back to the Catholic faith of his childhood and wrote some noble religious poetry that appeared in Sagesse.

1896: On his death on January 8, Paul Verlaine was interred in the Cimetiere des Batignolles in Paris.


1 The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2006

2 Wikipedia/Verlaine

Verlaine Sculpture


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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud



of the voices

Always angelic –

It is about me, –

Sharply expresses itself :

Those thousand questions

Spreading their roots Bring in the end,

Only drunkenness and madness ;

Understand this trick

So gay, so easy :

It is only wave, only flower,

And that is your family !

Then it sings.

O So gay, so easy,

And visible to the naked eye… –

I sing with it, –

Understand this trick

So gay, so easy :

It is only wave, only flower,

And that is your family !… etc…

And then a voice –

How angelic it is ! – It is about me,

Sharply expresses itself :

And sings at this moment

Like a sister to breath :

With a German tone,

But ardent and full :

The world is vicious ;

If that surprises you !

Live and leave to the fire

Dark misfortune.

O ! pretty castle !

How bright your life is !

What age do you belong to,

Princely nature Of our elder brother ! etc…

I also sing : Many sisters ! voices

Not at all public ! Surround me

With chaste glory… etc…


A Season in Hell & Drunken Boat__Rimbaud in New York
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


Venus Anadyomene

As from a
green zinc coffin,

a woman’s head with brown hair

heavily pomaded rises out of an old bath,

slowly and stupidly, with its bald patches pretty clumsily hidden;

Then the fat grayish neck, and the broad

and protuberant shoulder-blades;

the short back with its hollows and bulges;

then the curves of the buttocks seem to soar;

the lard beneath the skin appears as flat flakes;

The spine’s rather red;

the whole thing has a smell which is strangely disgusting;

one notices especially oddities which should be studied

with a lens� The buttocks bear two engraved words:

CLARA VENUS; and this whole body moves

and then sticks out its broad rump –

hideous bejeweled with an anal ulcer.


Le vertige de Rimbaud__Lettres du Harare
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud



May Banners

the bright lime-tree branches

Dies a fainting mort. But lively song

Flutters among the currant bushes.

So that our bloods may laugh in our veins,

See the vines tangling themselves.

The sky is as pretty as an angel,

The azure and the wave commune.

I go out. If a sunbeam wounds me

I shall succumb on the moss.

Being patient and being bored

Are too simple. To the devil with my cares.


I want dramatic summer

To bind me to its chariot of fortune.

Let me most because of you, o Nature, –

Ah ! less alone and less useless ! – die.

There where the Shepherds, it’s strange,

Die more or less because of the world.

I am willing that the seasons should wear me out.

To you, Nature, I surrender ;

With my hunger and all my thirst.

And, if it please you, feed and water me.

Nothing, nothing at all deceives me ;

To laugh at the sun is to laugh at one’s parents,

But I do not wish to laugh at anything ;

And may this misfortune go free.


Somebody Else__Le vertige de Rimbaud
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


Young Couple

room is open to the turquoise blue sky;

no room here: boxes and bins!

Outside the wall is overgrown with birthwort

where the brownies’ gums buzz.

How truly there are the plots of genii –

this expense and this foolish untidiness!

It is the African fairy who supplies

the mulberry and the hairnets in the corners.

Several, cross godmothers [dressed] in skirts of light,

go into the cupboards, and stay there!

The people of the house are out,

they are not serious, an nothing gets done.

The bridegroom has the wind which cheats him

during his absence, here, all the time.

Even some water sprites, mischievous,

come in t wander about among the spheres under the bed.

At night, beloved oh! The honeymoon will gather their smiles

and fill the sky with a thousand copper diadems.

Then they will have to deal with the crafty rat. –

As long as no ghastly will O;

the wisp comes, like a gunshot, after vespers, –

O holy white Sprits of Bethlehem, charm,

rather than that, the blueness of their window!

June 1872

Rimbaud Complete__Lettres du Harare
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud




the enormous avenues of the Holy Land,

the temple terraces!

What has become of the Brahman

who explained the proverbs to me?

Of that time, of that place,

I can still see even the old women!

I remember silver hours and sunlight by the rivers,

the hand of the country on my shoulder

and our carresses standing on the spicy plains.–

A flight of scarlet pigeons thunders round my thoughts.

An exile here, I once had a stage on which

to play all the masterpieces of literature.

I would show you unheard-of riches.

I note the story of the treasures you discovered.

see the outcome.

My wisdom is as scorned as chaos.

What is my nothingness

to the stupor that awaits you?


I am the inventor more deserving far

than all those who have preceeded me;

a musician, moreover, who has discovered

something like the key of love.

At present, a country gentleman

of a bleak land with a sober sky,

I try to rouse myself with the memory

of my beggar childhood,

my apprenticeship or my arrival in wooden shoes,

of polemics, of
five or six widowings, and of certain convivalities

when my level head kept me from rising

to the diapason of my comrades.

I do not regret my old portion of divine gaiety:

the sober air of this bleak countryside

feeds vigorously my dreadful skepticism.

But since this skepticism cannot,

henceforth be put to use, and since,

moreover, I am dedicated to a new torment,–

I expect to become a very vicious madman.


In a loft, where I was shut in when I was twelve,

I got to know the world,

I illustrated the human comedy.

I learned history in a wine cellar.

In a northern city, at some nocturnal revel,

I met all the women of the old masters.

In an old arcade in Paris,

I was taught the classical sciences.

In a magnificent dwelling encircled by the entire Orient,

I accomplished my prodigious work

and spent my illustrious retreat.

I churned up my blood.

My duty has been remitted.

I must not even think of that anymore.

I am really from beyond

the tomb, and no commissions.

Les Illuminations__Somebody Else
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud





Problems put by, the inevitable descent of heaven

and the visit of memories and the assembly

of rhythms occupy the house,

the head and the world of the spirit. —

A horse scampers off on the suburban track,

and along the tilled fields and woodlands,

pervaded by the carbonic plague.

A miserable woman of drama, somewhere in the world,

sighs for improbable desertions.

Desperados pine for strife, drunkenness and wounds.

— Little children stifle their maledictions along the rivers.

Let us resume our study to the noise of the consuming work

that is gathering and growing in the masses.



Man of ordinary constitution,

was not the flesh a fruit hanging in the orchard;

O child days; the body, a treasure to squander;

O to love, the peril or the power of Psyche?

The earth had slopes fertile in princes and in artists,

and lineage and race incited you to crimes and mournings:

the world, your fortune and your peril.

But now, that labor crowned,

you and your calculations,– you and your impatiences–

are only your dance and your voice, not fixed and not forced,

although a reason for the double consequence

of invention and of success, — in fraternal

and discreet humanity through an imageless universe;–

might and right reflect your dance and your voice,

appreciated only at present.


_Tewnty Years Old_

Instructive voices exiled… Physical candor bitterly quelled…

–Adagio.– Ah! the infinite egotism of adolescence,

the studious optimism: how the world was full of flowers that summer!

Airs and forms dying… –A choir to calm impotence and absence!

A choir of glasses, of nocturnal melodies…

Quickly, indeed, the nerves take up the chase.


You are still at Anthony’s temptation.

The antics of abated zeal,

the grimaces of childish pride, the collapse and the terror.

But you will set yourself at this labor:

all harmonic and architectural possibilities

will surge around your seat.

Perfect beings, never dreamed of,

will present themselves for your experiments.

The curiosity of ancient crowds

and idle wealth will meditatively draw near.

Your memory and your senses

will be simply the nourishment of your creative impulse.

As for the world, when you emerge, what will it have become?

In any case, nothing of what it seems at present.

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



is love and the present because he has opened our house

to winter’s foam and to the sound of summer,

He who purified all that we drink and tea;

He is the charm of passing places,

the incarnate delight of all things that abide.

He is affection and the future,

the strength and love that we,

standing surrounded by anger and weariness,

See passing in the storm-filled sky and in banners of ecstasy.

He is love, perfect and rediscovered measure,

Reason, marvelous and unforeseen,

Eternity: beloved prime mover of the elements, of destinies.

We all know the terror of his yielding, and of ours:

Oh delight of our well-being, brilliance of our faculties,

selfish affection and passion for him, who loves us forever…

And we remember him, and he goes on his way…

And if Adoration departs, then it sounds, his promise sounds:

‘Away with these ages and superstitions,

These couplings, these bodies of old!

All our age has submerged.’ He will not go away,

will not come down again from some heave.

He will not fulfill the redemption of women’s fury

nor the gaiety of men nor the rest of this sin:

For he is and he is loved, and so it is already done.

Oh, his breathing, the turn of his head when he runs:

Terrible speed of perfection in action and form!

Fecundity of spirit and vastness of the universe! His body!

Release so long desired, The splintering of grace before a new violence!

Oh, the sight, the sight of him!

All ancient genuflections, all sorrows are lifted as he passes.

The light of his day! All moving and sonorous

suffering dissolves in more intense music.

In his step there are vaster migrations than the old invasions were.

Oh, He and we! a pride more benevolent than charities lost.

Oh, world! and the shining song of new sorrows.

He has known us all and has loved us.

Let us discover how, this winter night, to hail him from cape to cape,

from the unquiet pole to the ch�teau,

from crowded cities to the empty coast,

from glance to glance, with our strength and our feelings exhausted,

To see him, and to send him once again away…

And beneath the tides and over high deserts of snow

To follow his image, his breathing, his body, the light of his day.

Arthur Rimbaud__A Season in Hell & Illuminations
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


A Season in Hell & Illuminations Arthur RimbaudRimbaud


London, Friday afternoon

July 4, 1873


Come back, come back, my dear friend, my only friend, come back. I swear I shall be kind. If I was cross with you, it was a joke which I was obstinately determined to carry on; I repent of it more than can be said. Come back, it will be quite forgotten. How terrible that you should have taken that joke seriously. For two days I have not stopped crying. Come back. Be brave, dear friend. Nothing is lost. All you have to do is make another journey. We’ll live here again, very brave and very patiently. Oh! I beg you! It’s for your good, besides. Come back, you’ll find all your things here. I hope you realize now that there was nothing real in our argument. That frightful moment! But you — when I signalled to you to get off the boat — why didn’t you come? Have we lived together for two years to come to this? What are you going to do? If you won’t come here, would you like me to come and meet you where you are? Yes, I was in the wrong. Oh, you won’t forget me, will you? No, you can’t forget me. As for me, I still have you, here. Listen, answer your friend, must we not live together anymore? Be brave. Answer this quickly. I can’t stay here much longer. Do not read this except with goodwill. Quick, tell me if I must come to you. Yours, all my life.


July 5, 1873

My dear friend, I have your letter which is headed ‘At sea’. You are wrong, this time, very wrong. To begin with, there is nothing postive in your letter. You wife is not coming, or she is coming in three months, three years, whatever. As for kicking the bucket, I know you too well. And so you are going – while you wait for your wife and for death – to struggle, to wander about, and to bore people. What! don’t you realize that our anger was false, on both sides? But you will be in the wrong at the end, because, even after i called you back, you persisted in your unreal feelings. Do you think that your life will be happier with other people than it was with me? think about it! Oh! surely not! It is only with me that you can be free, and since I swear to be very nice to you in the future, and deplore the whole part of my part in the wrong, and since my head is clear, at last, and I like you very much, if you don’t want to come back, or for me to join you, you are committing a crime, and you will do penance for it for LONG YEARS TO COME, by losing all your freedom, and by sufferings more terrible perhaps than you have undergone. When you read this, think of what you were before you knew me! For myself, I’m not going back to my mother’s. I am going to Paris. I shall try to be gone by Monday evening. You will have compelled me to sell all your suits, I can’t do anything else. They aren’t sold yet: they are not coming to get them from me until Monday evening. If you want to write me in Paris, send letters t o L. Forain, 289 rue Saint-Jacques (for A. Rimbaud). He will know my address. One thing is certain: if your wife comes back, I shall never compromise you by writing to you – I shall never write. One single true word: it is, come back. I want to be with you, I love you. If you listen to this, you will prove your courage and sincerity. Otherwise, I’m sorry for you. But I love you, I kiss you and we’ll see each other again.


8 Great Colle, etc… until Monday evening – or Tuesday midday, if you send me word.

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Complete Works
Presence of an Enigma
Selected Letters
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Rimbaud in Africa
Arthur: A Biography
Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud Outlines
Peoms: Rimbaud
Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine
Rimbaud Complete
The Poetry of Rimbaud
Collected Poems
A Season in Hell & Illuminations
A Season in Hell & Other Works
Arthur Rimbaud: Collected Poems
A Season in Hell & Illuminations
Arthur Rimbaud Complete Works
Poesies: Une Saison en enfer et Illuminations
A Season in Hell & The Drunken Boat
Arthur Rimbaud
Total Eclipse
"Je Suis ICI Dans Les Gallas": Lettres Et Textes Choisis Et Presentes
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud




It is a repose in the light,

neither fever nor languor,

on a bed or on a meadow.

It is the friend neither violent nor weak.

The friend.

It is the beloved neither

tormenting nor tormented.

The beloved.

Air and the world not sought.

Life. –Was it really this?

–And the dream grew cold.


The lighting comes round

to the crown post again.

From the two extremities of the room

— decorations negligible

— harmonic elevations join.

The wall opposite the watcher

is a psychological succession

of atmospheric sections of friezes,

bands, and geological accidents.

Intense quick dream

of sentimental groups

with people of all possible characters

amidst all possible appearances.


The lamps and the rugs

of the vigil make the noise

of waves in the night,

along the hull and around the steerage.

The sea of the vigil, like Emily’s breasts.

The hangings, halfway up,

undergrowth of emerald tinted lace,

where dart the vigil doves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The plaque of the black hearth,

real suns of seashores! ah! magic wells;

only sight of dawn, this time.

Rimbaud Complete__Arthur Rimbaud
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud



My life as a child, the open road in every weather; I was unnaturally
abstinent, more detached than the best of beggars, proud to have no
country, no friends– what stupidity that was!– and only now I realize
it! I was right to distrust old men who never lost a chance for a caress,
parasites on the health and cleanliness of our women– today when women
are so much a race apart from us.

I was right in everything I distrusted… because I am running away!
I am running away! I’ll explain. Even yesterday, I kept sighing: “God!
There are enough of us damned down here! I’ve done time enough already
in their ranks. I know them all. We always recognize each other; we
disgust each other. Charity is unheard of among us. Still, we’re polite;
our relations with the world are quite correct.” Is that surprising?
The world! Businessmen and idiots!– there’s no dishonor in being here–
but the company of the elect; how would they receive us? For there are
surely people, happy people, the false elect, since we must be bold
or humble to approach them. These are the real elect. No saintly hypocrites,
these! Since I’ve got back two cents’ worth of reason– how quickly
it goes!– I can see that my troubles come from not realizing soon enough
that this is the Western World. These Western swamps! Not that light
has paled, form worn out, or movement been misguided…. All right!
Now my mind wants absolutely to take on itself all the cruel developments
that mind has undergone since the Orient collapsed…. My mind demands
it! …And that’s the end of my two cents’ worth of reason! The mind
is in control, it insists that I remain in the West. It will have to
be silenced if I expect it to end as I always wanted to. I used to say,
to hell with martyrs’ palms, all beacons of art, the inventor’s pride,
the plunderer’s frenzy; I expected to return to the Orient and to original,
eternal wisdom. But this is evidently a dream of depraved laziness!
And yet I had no intention of trying to escape from modern suffering–
I have no high regard for the bastard wisdom of the Koran. But isn’t
there a very real torment in knowing that since the dawn of that scientific
discovery, Christianity, Man has been making a fool of himself, proving
what is obvious, puffing with pride as he repeats his proofs… and
living on that alone? This is a subtle, stupid torment– and this is
the source of my spiritual ramblings. Nature may well be bored with
it all! Prudhomme was born with Christ.

Isn’t it because we cultivate the fog? We swallow fever with our watery
vegetables. And drunkenness! And tobacco! And ignorance! And blind faith!
Isn’t this all a bit far from the thought, the wisdom of the Orient,
the original fatherland? Why have a modern world, if such poisons are
invented? Priests and preachers will say: Of course. But you are really
referring to Eden. There is nothing for you in the past history of Oriental
races…. True enough. It was Eden I meant! How can this purity of ancient
races affect my dream? Philosophers will say: The world has no ages;
humanity moves from place to place, that’s all. You are a Western man,
but quite free to live in your Orient, as old a one as you want. ..
and to live in it as you like. Don’t be a defeatist. Philosophers, you
are part and parcel of your Western world! Careful, mind. Don’t rush
madly after salvation. Train yourself! Ah, science never goes fast enough
for us! But I see that my mind is asleep. –If it stays wide awake from
this moment on, we would soon reach the truth, which may even now surround
us with its weeping angels!.. –If it had been wide awake until this
moment, I would have never given in to degenerate instincts, long ago!…
–If it had always been wide awake, I would be floating in wisdom!…
O Purity! Purity! In this moment of awakening, I had a vision of purity!
Through the mind we go to God! What a crippling misfortune!

Selected Poems and Letters__Les Illuminations
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud


Jeanne-Marie’s Hands

has strong hands; dark hands tanned by the summer,

pale hands like dead hands. Are they the hands of Donna Juana?

Did they get their dusky cream colour

sailing on pools of sensual pleasure?

Have they dipped into moons, in ponds of serenity?

Have they drunk heat from barbarous skies, calm upon enchanting knees?

Have they rolled cigars, or traded in diamonds?

Have they tossed golden flowers at the glowing feet of Madonnas?

It is the black blood of belladonnas that blazes and sleeps in their palms.

Hands which drive the diptera with which

the auroral bluenesses buzz, towards the nectars?

Hands which measure out poisons?

Oh what Dream has stiffened them in pandiculations?

Some extraordinary dream of the Asias, of Khenghavars or Zions?

These hands have neither sold oranges

nor become sunburnt at the feet of the gods:

these hands have never washed the napkins of heavy babies without eyes.

These are not the hands of a tart,

nor of working women with round foreheads burnt

by a sun which is drunk with the smell of tar,

in woods that sink of factories.

These are benders of backbones; hands that never work harm;

more inevitable than machines, stronger than carthorses!

Stirring like furnaces, shaking off all their chills of fear,

their flesh sings Marseillaises, and never Eleisons!

They could grasp your necks, O evil women;

they could pulverize your hands, noblewomen;

your infamous hands full of white and of carmine.

The splendour of these hands of love turns the heads of the lambs!

On their spicy fingers the great sun sets a ruby!

A dark stain of the common people makes then brown

like the nipples of the women of yesterday,

but it is the backs of these Hands which every

proud Rebel desires to kiss! Marvelous,

they have paled in the great sunshine full of love of the cause

on the bronze casing of machine-guns throughout insurgent Paris!

Ah, sometimes, O blessed Hands, at your wrists,

Hands where our never-sobered lips tremble,

cries out a chain of bright links!

And there’s a strange and sudden

Start in our beings when,

sometimes, they try, angelic Hands,

to make your sunburn fade away

by making your fingers bleed!


A Season in Hell & Drunken Boat__Illuminations
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud

A black,
E white, I red, U green, O blue:
vowels, I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins:

A, black velvety jacket brilliant flies which buzz around cruel smells,
gulfs of shadows;

E, whiteness of vapours and of tents, lances of proud glaciers, white
kings, shivers of cow-parsley;

I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips in anger or in the raptures
of penitence;

U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas, the peace of pastures dotted
with animals,

the peace of the furrows whch alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;

O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds, silences crossed by
Angels and by Worlds –

O the Omega! The violet ray of Her Eyes! ———-

The star has wept rose-colour in the heart of your ears,

the infinite rolled white from your nape to the small of your back;

the sea has broken russet at your vermilion nipples,

and Man bled black at your royal side.

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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud





Total Eclipse






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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud



only find within my bones, A taste for eating earth and stones.

When I feed, I feed on air, Rocks and coals and iron ore.

My hunger, turn. Hunger, feed: A field of bran.

Gather as you can the bright, Poison weed.

Eat the rocks a beggar breaks,

The stones of ancient churches’ walls,

Pebbles, children of the flood, Loaves left lying in the mud.

* * *

Beneath the bush a wolf will howl, Spitting bright feathers

From his feast of fowl: Like him, I devour myself.

Waiting to be gathered, Fruits and grasses spend their hours;

The spider spinning in the hedge, Eats only flowers.

Let me sleep! Let me boil, On the altars of Solomon;

Let me soak the rusty soil, And flow into Kendron.

Finally, O reason, O happiness, I cleared from the sky the blue which
is darkness, and I lived as a golden spark of this light, Nature. In
my delight, I made my face look as comic and as wild as I could:

It is recovered.

What? Eternity.

In the whirling light

Of the sun in the sea.

O my eternal soul,

Hold fast to desire

In spite of the night

And the day on fire.

You must set yourself free

From the striving of Man

And the applause of the World!

You must fly as you can…

No hope, forever; No _orietur._

Science and patience,

The torment is sure.

The fire within you,

Soft silken embers,

Is our whole duty–

But no one remembers.

It is recovered.

What? Eternity.

In the whirling light

Of the sun in the sea.

I became a fabulous opera. I saw that everyone in the world was doomed
to happiness. Action isn’t life; it’s merely a way of ruining a kind
of strength, a means of destroying nerves. Morality is water on the
brain. It seemed to me that everyone should have had several other lives
as well. This gentleman doesn’t know what he’s doing; he’s an angel.
That family is a litter of puppy dogs. With some men, I often talked
out loud with a moment from one of their other lives– that’s how I
happened to love a pig. Not a single one of the brilliant arguments
of madness– the madness that gets locked up– did I forget; I could
go through them all again, I’ve got the system down by heart. It affected
my health. Terror loomed ahead. I would fall again and again into a
heavy sleep, which lasted several days at a time, and when I woke up,
my sorrowful dreams continued. I was ripe for fatal harvest, and my
weakness led me down dangerous roads to the edge of the world, to the
Cimmerian shore, the haven of whirlwinds and darkness. I had to travel,
to dissipate the enchantments that crowded my brain. On the sea, which
I loved as if it were to wash away my impurity, I watched the compassionate
cross arise. I had been damned by the rainbow. Felicity was my doom,
my gnawing remorse, my worm. My life would forever be too large to devote
to strength and to beauty. Felicity! The deadly sweetness of its sting
would wake me at cockcrow– ad matutinum, at the Christus venit– in
the soberest of cities.

O seasons, O chateaus! Where is the flawless soul?

I learned the magic of Felicity. It enchants us all.

To Felicity, sing life and praise, Whenever Gaul’s cock crows.

Now all desire has gone– It has made my life its own.

That spell has caught heart and soul, And scattered every trial.

O seasons, O chateaus! And, oh, the day it disappears, Will be the day
I die.

O seasons, O chateaus! All that is over. Today, I know how to celebrate

Selected Poems and Letters__A Season in Hell & Illuminations
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Rimbaud . Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud



an evening, for example, when the naive tourist has retired

from our economic horrors, a master’s hand awakens

the meadow’s harpsichord;

they are playing cards at the bottom of the pond,

mirror conjuring up favorites and queens;

there are saints, veils, threads of harmony,

and legendary chromatics in the setting sun.

He shudders as the hunts and hordes go by.

Comedy drips on the grass stages.

And the distress of the poor and of the weak

on those stupid planes! Before his slave’s vision,

Germany goes scaffolding toward moons;

Tartar deserts light up; ancient revolts ferment

in the center of the Celestial Empire;

over stairways and armchairs of rock, a little world, wan and flat,

Africa and Occidents, will be erected.

a ballet of familiar seas and nights,

worthless chemistry and impossible melodies. The same bourgeois magic

wherever the mail-train sets you down.

Even the most elementary physicist feels that it is no longer possible

to submit to this personal atmosphere, fog of physical remorse,

which to acknowledge is already an affliction. No!

The moment of the seething cauldron, of seas removed,

of subterranean conflagrations, of the planet swept away,

and the consequent exterminations, certitudes indicated

with so little malice by the Bible and by the Norns

and for which serious persons should be on the alert

Arthur Rimbaud: Le voleur de Feu__Le vertige de Rimbaud
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