Rimbaud: Complete Works, Selected Letters

Five Poems by Rimbaud

from Rimbaud: Complete Works, Selected Letters, a Bilingual Edition

Translated by Wallace Fowlie and revised by Seth Whidden

Mes petites amoureuses

Un hydrolat lacrymal lave
     Les cieux vert-chou:
Sous l’arbre tendronnier qui bave,
     Vos caoutchoucs

Blancs de lunes particulières
     Aux pialats ronds,
Entrechoquez vos genouillères
     Mes laiderons!

Nous nous aimions à cette époque,
     Bleu laideron!
On mangeait des œufs à la coque
     Et du mouron!

Un soir, tu me sacras poète,
     Blond laideron:
Descends ici, que je te fouette
     En mon giron;

J’ai dégueulé ta bandoline,
     Noir laideron;
Tu couperais ma mandoline
     Au fil du front

Pouah! mes salives desséchées,
     Roux laideron
Infectent encor les tranchées
     De ton sein rond!

Ô mes petites amoureuses,
     Que je vous hais!
Plaquez de fouffes douloureuses
     Vos tétons laids!

Piétinez mes vieilles terrines
     De sentiment;
—Hop donc! soyez-moi ballerines
     Pour un moment!…

Vos omoplates se déboîtent,
     Ô mes amours!
Une étoile à vos reins qui boitent,
     Tournez vos tours!

Et c’est pourtant pour ces éclanches
     Que j’ai rimé!
Je voudrais vous casser les hanches
     D’avoir aimé!

Fade amas d’étoiles ratées,
     Comblez les coins!
—Vous crèverez en Dieu, bâtées
     D’ignobles soins!

Sous les lunes particulières
     Aux pialats ronds,
Entrechoquez vos genouillères,
     Mes laiderons!

My Little Lovers

A lacrymal tincture washes
     The cabbage-green skies:
Under the drooling tree with tender shoots,
     Your raincoats

White with special moons
     With round eyes
Knock together your kneecaps
     My ugly ones!

We loved one another at that time,
     Blue ugly one!
We ate soft boiled eggs
     And chickweed!

One evening you consecrated me poet,
     Blond ugly one:
Come down here, that I can whip you
     On my lap;

I vomited your brilliantine,
     Black ugly one;
You would cut off my mandolin
     On the edge of my brow

Bah! my dried saliva,
     Red-headed ugly one
Still infects the trenches
     Of your round breast!

O my little lovers,
     How I hate you!
Plaster with painful blisters
     Your ugly tits!

Trample on my old pots
     Of sentiment;
—Up now! be ballerinas for me
     For one moment!…

Your shoulder blades are out of joint,
     O my loves!
A star on your limping backs,
     Turn with your turns!

And yet it is for these mutton shoulders
     That I have made rhymes!
I would like to break your hips
     For having loved!

Insipid pile of stars that have failed,
     Fill the corners!
—You will collapse in God, saddled
     With ignoble cares!

Under special moons
     With round eyes,
Knock together your kneecaps,
     My ugly ones!


Book details:

Jean Nicholas Arthur Rimbaud
Rimbaud: Complete Works, Selected Letters, a Bilingual Edition
Translated and with an Introduction and Notes by Wallace Fowlie. Revised and with a Foreword by Seth Whidden.
©1967, 2005, 496 pages, 6 halftones, 7 line drawings
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 0-226-71976-6
Paper $19.00 ISBN: 0-226-71977-4

For information on purchasing the book—from bookstores or here online—please go to the webpage for Rimbaud: Complete Works, Selected Letters.

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