A favorite for Sunday

Poet Arthur Rimbaud was born in 1854 in Charleville, France and “is hailed as the father of symbolism” (Schmidt 1967).

My favorite description of Rimbaud was by Newsday writer Raymond Sokolov –
“Arthur Rimbaud was a disreputable, mean, ruthless, perverse, hateful
wretch. He was also one of the greatest poets who ever lived.”

Maybe this is why I like him so much….
Enjoy the poems!

Anguish

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: myself!)
That the accidents of scientific wonders and the movements of social brotherhood
will be cherished as the progressive restitution of our original freedom?…
But the Vampire who makes us behave orders us to enjoy ourselves
with what she leaves us, or in other words to be more amusing.
Rolled in our wounds through the wearing air and the sea;
in torments through the silence of the murderous waters and air;
in tortures that laugh in the terrible surge of their silence.

Lives

III

In an attic where I was locked up at the age of twelve,
I found out the world…I made illustrations for the Human
Comedy.
In a closet I learned my history.
At an evening celebration in a northern town, I met all the women
Of the painters of the past.
In an old alley in Paris, I was taught the classic sciences.
In a magnificent house encircled by the Orient entire,
I brought my life’s work to completion, and I passed my illustrious
retirement.
I have drunk my own blood. My task has been lifted from me…
No longer must I even think of it.
I am actually from beyond the grave…
and can do nothing for you.

charleville

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