Arthur Rimbaud2017-11-14T22:29:28-07:00

Arthur Rimbaud

A Dream for Winter

In the winter, we shall travel in a little pink railway carriage
With blue cushions.
We shall be comfortable. A nest of mad kisses lies in wait
In each soft corner.

You will close your eyes, so as not to see, through the glass,
The evening shadows pulling faces.
Those snarling monsters, a population
Of black devils and black wolves.

Then you’ll feel your cheek scratched…
A little kiss, like a crazy spider,
Will run round your neck…

And you’ll

A Season in Hell

A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party
where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing.

One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her
galling.—And I roughed her up.

I armed myself against justice.

I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure’s been
turned over to you!

I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from

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

A la Musique

Place de la Gare, à Charleville.

Sur la place taillée en mesquines pelouses,
Square où tout est correct, les arbres et les fleurs,
Tous les bourgeois poussifs qu’étranglent les chaleurs
Portent, les jeudis soirs, leurs bêtises jalouses

– L’orchestre militaire, au milieu du jardin,
Balance ses schakos dans la Valse des fifres :
– Autour, aux premiers rangs, parade le gandin ;
Le notaire pend à ses breloques à chiffres

Des rentiers à lorgnons soulignent tous les couacs


Is it possible that She will have me forgiven for ambitions
continually crushed,-
that an affluent end will make up for the ages of indigence,-
that a day of success will lull us to sleep on the shame of our
fatal incompetence?
(O palms! diamond!- Love! strength!- higher than all joys and
all fame!-
in any case, everywhere- demon, god,- Youth of this being:
That the accidents of scientific wonders and the


Graceful son of Pan! Around your forehead crowned
with small flowers and berries, your eyes, precious
spheres, are moving. Spotted with brownish wine lees,
your cheeks grow hollow. Your fangs are gleaming. Your
chest is like a lyre, jingling sounds circulate between your
blond arms. Your heart beats in that belly where the double
sex sleeps. Walk at night, gently moving that thigh,
that second thigh and that left leg.

Asleep In The Valley

A small green valley where a slow stream flows
And leaves long strands of silver on the bright
Grass; from the mountaintop stream the Sun’s
Rays; they fill the hollow full of light.
A soldier, very young, lies open-mouthed,
A pillow made of fern beneath his head,
Asleep; stretched in the heavy undergrowth,

Pale in his warm, green, sun-soaked bed.
His feet among the flowers, he sleeps. His smile
Is like an infant’s – gentle, without guile.
Ah, Nature,

At the Green Inn, Five in the Evening

For a whole week I had ripped up my boots
On the stones of the roads. I walked into Charleroi;
Into the Green Inn: I asked for some slices
Of bread and butter, and some half-cooled ham.

Happy, I stuck out my legs under the green
table: I studied the artless patterns of the
Wallpaper – and it was charming when the girl
With the huge breasts and lively eyes,

– A kiss wouldn’t scare that one!

Au Cabaret-Vert, cinq heures du soir

Depuis huit jours, j’avais déchiré mes bottines
Aux cailloux des chemins. J’entrais à Charleroi.
– Au Cabaret-Vert : je demandai des tartines
Du beurre et du jambon qui fût à moitié froid.

Bienheureux, j’allongeai les jambes sous la table
Verte : je contemplai les sujets très naïfs
De la tapisserie. – Et ce fut adorable,
Quand la fille aux tétons énormes, aux yeux vifs,

– Celle-là, ce n’est pas un baiser qui l’épeure!-
Rieuse, m’apporta des tartines de

Bal des pendus

Au gibet noir, manchot aimable,
Dansent, dansent les paladins,
Les maigres paladins du diable,
Les squelettes de Saladins.

Messire Belzébuth tire par la cravate
Ses petits pantins noirs grimaçant sur le ciel,
Et, leur claquant au front un revers de savate,
Les fait danser, danser aux sons d’un vieux Noël!

Et les pantins choqués enlacent leurs bras grêles:
Comme des orgues noirs, les poitrines à jour
Que serraient autrefois les gentes damoiselles,
Se heurtent longuement dans un hideux amour.

Hurrah !


Long after the days and the seasons, and people and countries.
The banner of raw meat against the silk of seas and arctic
(they do not exist). Recovered from the old fanfares of
which still attack the heart and head,– far from the old
— Oh! the banner of raw meat against the silk of seas and
arctic flowers;
(they do not exist).– Bliss! Live embers raining in gusts
of frost.–

Being Beauteous

Against a fall
of snow,
a Being Beauiful,
and very tall.
Whistlings of death and circles of faint music
Make this adored body, swelling and trembling
Like a specter, rise…
Black and scarlet gashes burst in the gleaming flesh.
The true colors of life grow dark, Shimmering and sperate.
In the scaffolding, around the Vision.
Shiverings mutter and rise,
And the furious taste of these effects is charged
With deadly whistlings and the raucous music
That the world, far behind us,
hurls at

Blackcurrant River

Blackcurrant river rolls unknown in strange valleys;
the voices of a hundred rooks go with it,
the true benevolent voice of angles:
with the wide movements of the fir woods
when several winds sweep down.
Everything flows with [the] horrible mysteries of ancient landscapes;
of strongholds visited, of large estates:
it is along these banks that you can hear
the dead passions of errant knights:
but how the wind is wholesome!
Let the traveler look through these clerestories:


Boulevard du Régent
July Flowerbeds of amaranths right up to
The pleasant palace of Jupiter.
I know it is Thou, who is this place,
Minglest thine almost Saharan Blue !
Then, since rose and fir-tree of the sun
And tropical creeper have their play enclosed here,
The little widow’s cage !…
What, Flocks of birds, o iaio, iaio !…
Calm houses, old passions !

Summerhouse of the Lady who ran mad for love.
After the buttocks of the


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

Cities Vagabonds

These are cities!
And this is the people for whom these
Alleghenys and Lebanons of dream have been raised!
Castles of wood and crystal move on tracks and invisible winches.
Old craters ringed with mammoth statues and
coppery palms roar melodiously in flames.
Festivals of love reverberate
from the canals suspended behind the castles.
Chimes echo through the gorges like a chase.

Corporations of giant singers assemble,
their vestments and oriflames
brilliant as the mountain-peaks.
On platforms in the midst of


I am an ephemeral
and a not too discontented citizen
of a metropolis considered modern
because all known taste
has been evaded in the furnishings
and the exterior of the houses
as well as in the layout of the city.
Here you will fail to detect the least trace
of any monument of superstition.
Morals and language
are reduced to their simplest expression,
at last! The way these millions of people,
who do not even need to know each other,
manage their

Clearance Sale

For what the Jews have not sold,
what neither nobility nor crime have tasted,
what is unknown to monstrous love
and to the infernal probity of the masses!
what neither time nor science need recognize: The Voices restored;
fraternal awakening of all choral and orchestral energies
and their instantaneous application; the opportunity, the only one,
for the release of our senses! For sale Bodies without price,
outside any race, any world, any sex, any lineage! Riches gushing


The pigeons which flutter in the meadow,
the game which runs and sees in the dark,
the water animals, the animal enslaved,
the last butterflies!.. also are thirsty.
But to dissolve where that wandering cloud is dissolving –
Oh! Favoured by what is fresh!
To expire in those damp violets
whose awakening fills these woods?
-Conclusion by Arthur Rimbaud

Dance of the Hanged Men

On the black gallows, one-armed friend,
The paladins are dancing, dancing
The lean, the devil’s paladins
The skeletons of Saladins.

Sir Beelzebub pulls by the scruff
His little black puppets who grin at the sky,
And with a backhander in the head like a kick,
Makes them dance, dance, to an old Carol-tune!

And the puppets, shaken about, entwine their thin arms:
Their breasts pierced with light, like black organ-pipes
Which once gentle ladies pressed to their own,
Jostle together


I have kissed the summer dawn.
Before the palaces, nothing moved. The water lay dead.
Battalions of shadows still kept the forest road.
I walked, waking an arm with vital breath,
While stones watched, and wings rose soundlessly.
My first adventure, in a path already gleaming
With a clear pale light,
Was a flower who told me its name.
I laughed at the blond Wasserfall
That threw its hair across the pines:
On the silvered summit, I came


“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!”


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.
-Arthur Rimbaud

Drunken Morning

Oh, my Beautiful! Oh, my Good!
Hideous fanfare where
yet I do not stumble!
Oh, rack of enchantments!
For the first time,
hurrah for the unheard-of work,
For the marvelous body!
For the first time!
It began with the laughter of children,
and there it will end.
This poison will stay in our veins even when,

as the fanfares depart,
We return to our former disharmony.
Oh, now, we who are so worthy of these tortures!
Let us re-create ourselves
after that superhuman promise


It has been found again.
What? – Eternity.
It is the sea fled away
With the sun.
Sentinel soul,
Let us whisper the confession
Of the night full of nothingness
And the day on fire.
From human approbation,
From common urges
You diverge here
And fly off as you may.
Since from you alone,
Satiny embers,
Duty breathes
Without anyone saying : at last.
Here is no hope,
No orietur.
Knowledge and fortitude,
Torture is certain.
It has been found again.
What? – Eternity.
It is the sea fled away