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Friday, 21 August 2009

Tear (after Rimbaud)



Far from bird noise and lazy cattle and chatty girls

I knelt in a drowsy glade to drink
As the purple mist of the afternoon closed
In on the green growing things around the lake.

Was there something in the water there
Under those phantasmal mist-cloaked trees,
A golden liquor, barley colored, jewelled,
Under shrouded skies, that caused me to break out

In a strange feverish sweat? You could
Have made a Motel sign out of me I was so lit up,
With half the neon on the fritz
Spelling out VA*AN*Y into encroaching evening.

Then storm changed the sky: dark nations,
Poles, columns, shelves and terminals of cloud
Blown in a vast wave across the blue night.
The stream escaped away through the woods

To white sands. A sharp wind came up.
Sheets of isinglass spilled across the lake. To think
That intent as a searcher after Eldorado or a pearl
I persisted still in stooping to imbibe!

File:Wall cloud with lightning - NOAA.jpg

Larme (Tear): Arthur Rimbaud, from Derniers Vers (1872): freely rendered into English by TC
Geothermal steam fog, Yellowstone, Wyoming: photo by US National Park Service, 2005
Wall cloud with lightning, over Miami. Texas: photo by Brad Smull (NOAA), 1980


Zephirine said...

One of my favourite poems, and what an interesting rendition this is. I love the Motel sign, I think Rimbaud would have liked it too!

TC said...

Thank you Zeph for providing the inspiration for this post. I am particularly delighted that you enjoyed the Motel sign, as Rimbaud was a great taker of liberties I am trusting he too would have approved that liberal updating of

Tel, j'eusse été mauvaise enseigne d'auberge.

Elmo St. Rose said...

Rimbaud's opulent perception
and rendition of the sensory
world towards eros always

TC said...

... and thus always away from "civilization".