Dawns are heartbreaking. Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter. — Arthur Rimbaud, from “The Drunken Boat,” Complete Works, Selected Letters (The University of Chicago Press, 2005)
And from that time on I bathed in the Poem Of the Sea, star-infused and churned into milk, Devouring the green azures; where, entranced in pallid flotsam, A dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down. ― Arthur Rimbaud, from “The Drunken Boat,” A Season in Hell/The Drunken Boat. (New Directions January 17, 1961) Originally published 1837.
A tap of your finger on the drum releases all sounds and initiates the new harmony. A step of yours is the conscription of the new men and their marching orders. You look away: the new love! You look back,—the new love! “Change our fates, shoot down the plagues, beginning with… Continue reading Arthur Rimbaud
Chariots of copper and of silver – Prows of silver and steel – Thresh upon the foam, – Upheave the stumps and brambles. The currents of the heath, And the enormous ruts of the ebb, Flow circularly toward the east, Toward the pillars of the forest, – Toward the boles of the jetty, Against whose… Continue reading Arthur Rimbaud
The sun has wept rose in the shell of your ears, The world has rolled white from your back, your thighs; The sea has stained rust the crimson of your breasts, And Man has bled black at your sovereign side. — Arthur Rimbaud, “The Sun Has Wept Rose,” Complete Works. Trans. Paul Schmidt. (Harper Perennial… Continue reading Arthur Rimbaud
Evening prayer I spend my life sitting, like an angel in a barber’s chair, Holding a beer mug with deep-cut designs, My neck and gut both bent, while in the air A weightless veil of pipe smoke hangs. Like steaming dung within an old dovecote A thousand Dreams within me softly burn: From time to… Continue reading Arthur Rimbaud
It is found again. What? Eternity. It is the sea Gone with the sun. —Arthur Rimbaud, from “L’Éternite” (1872), Collected Poems. Trans. Oliver Bernard. (1962).