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Arthur Rimbaud-The Drunken Boat

Arthur Rimbaud-The Drunken Boat

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Published by Ivana NIkolic

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Published by: Ivana NIkolic on Sep 03, 2012
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07/08/2013

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The Drunken Boat
As I was floating down unconcerned RiversI no longer felt myself steeredby the haulers:Gaudy Redskins had taken them for targetsNailing themnaked to coloured stakes.I cared nothing for all my crews,Carrying Flemish wheat or Englishcottons. When, along with my haulers those uproars were done with TheRivers let me sail downstream where I pleased.Into the ferocious tide-ripsLast winter, more absorbed than the minds of children,I ran! And the unmoored Peninsulas Never endured moretriumphant clamouringsThe storm made bliss of my sea-borne awakenings.Lighter than a cork, Idanced on the waves Which men call eternal rollers of victims, For tennights, without once missing the foolish eye of the harbor lights!Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children,The green waterpenetrated my pinewood hull And washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains and the splashes of vomit,Carrying away both rudder and anchor.And from that time on I bathed in the Poem Of the Sea, star-infused andchurned into milk, Devouring the green azures; where, entranced in pallidflotsam,A dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down;Where, suddenly dyeing the bluenesses, deliriumsAnd slow rhythms underthe gleams of the daylight, Stronger than alcohol, vaster than musicFerment the bitter rednesses of love!I have come to know the skies splitting with lightnings, and thewaterspouts And the breakers and currents; I know the evening,And Dawnrising up like a flock of doves,And sometimes I have seen what men haveimagined they saw!I have seen the low-hanging sun speckled with mystic horrors.Lighting uplong violet coagulations, Like the performers in very-antique dramasWaves rolling back into the distances their shiverings of venetian blinds!I have dreamed of the green night of the dazzled snowsThe kiss risingslowly to the eyes of the seas,The circulation of undreamed-of saps, Andthe yellow-blue awakenings of singing phosphorus!I have followed, for whole months on end, the swellsBattering the reefslike hysterical herds of cows, Never dreaming that the luminous feet of 
 
the MarysCould force back the muzzles of snorting Oceans!I have struck, do you realize, incredible FloridasWhere mingle withflowers the eyes of panthersIn human skins! Rainbows stretched likebridlesUnder the seas' horizon, to glaucous herds!I have seen the enormous swamps seething, trapsWhere a whole leviathanrots in the reeds!Downfalls of waters in the midst of the calmAnddistances cataracting down into abysses!Glaciers, suns of silver, waves of pearl, skies of red-hot coals!Hideouswrecks at the bottom of brown gulfsWhere the giant snakes devoured byverminFall from the twisted trees with black odours!I should have liked to show to children those dolphinsOf the blue wave,those golden, those singing fishes.- Foam of flowers rocked my driftingsAnd at times ineffable winds would lend me wings.Sometimes, a martyr weary of poles and zones,The sea whose sobssweetened my rollingsLifted its shadow-flowers with their yellow suckingdisks toward meAnd I hung there like a kneeling woman...Almost an island, tossing on my beaches the brawlsAnd droppings of pale-eyed, clamouring birds,And I was scudding along when across my frayedcordage Drowned men sank backwards into sleep!But now I, a boat lost under the hair of coves,Hurled by the hurricaneinto the birdless ether, I, whose wreck, dead-drunk and sodden withwater,neither Monitor nor Hanse ships would have fished up;Free, smoking, risen from violet fogs,I who bored through the wall of thereddening sky Which bears a sweetmeat good poets find delicious,Lichens of sunlight [mixed] with azure snot,Who ran, speckled with lunula of electricity,A crazy plank, with blacksea-horses for escort, When Julys were crushing with cudgel blows Skiesof ultramarine into burning funnels;I who trembled, to feel at fifty leagues' distanceThe groans of Behemoth'srutting, and of the dense MaelstromsEternal spinner of blue immobilitiesIlong for Europe with it's aged old parapets!I have seen archipelagos of stars! and islandsWhose delirious skies areopen to sailor: - Do you sleep, are you exiled in those bottomless nights,Million golden birds, O Life Force of the future? -But, truly, I have wept too much! The Dawns are heartbreaking.Every

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