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« Pnin | Main | Der var engang en fest »
Friday
Jul262013

Rimbaud, "Roman"

A work ("Romance") by this French poet.  You can read the original here.

I

A serious seventeen cannot be right.
Sweet eve, to hell with bocks and lemonade,
Cafés so rowdy under brightest lights!
Beneath the green lime trees we promenade.

These limes smell good by good June evenings' cheer!
Sometimes with air so soft that lids come down;
And the noise-bearing wind to unfar town,
Brings forth the scent of vine and scent of beer.

II

And here a tiny rag appears, dark blue,
Surrounded by a little branch's might, 
Purloined by a bad star, which melts into
The dark in gentle quakes, so small, all-white.

O, night of June!  O, seventeen!  We drink!
The champagne sap rises to your head at least;
We ramble; our lips feel a kiss's wing 
There batting before us like some small beast.

III

Mad Robinsonian heart, you've had romance,
When in the clarity of pale reverb,
A maiden walks of charming, tender glance,
Beneath her father's fearsome collar's curve.

As she deems you naïve, immensely so,
While trotting all around her small boot size,
Aware of lively movement, turning slow, 
Upon your lips each cavatina dies.

IV

You are in love: till August month unsad.
You are in love: your sonnets make her roar.
Your friends have all left now: your taste is bad. 
And then one eve your love deigned to write more!

And that eve to cafés bright you return,
You ask for bocks or for some lemonade.
For seventeen's a hardly serious age,
Beneath the boardwalk green lime trees to yearn.

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