Arthur Rimbaud: "Bottom" and "Barbarian" (1886)

by Tom Baker 21 days ago in vintage

New Translations by Tom Baker

Arthur Rimbaud: "Bottom" and "Barbarian" (1886)


Reality being just too prickly for my illustrious self,--I was, nevertheless, transformed into a great, grey-blue carrion bird, a vulture soaring to the ceiling.--Yet, dragging one wing through the black shadows of nightfall.

At the foot of the canopy, supporting her adored jewels and physical perfection, I was a great black bear become; violet gums and fur of grief, turned grey; my flashing eyes of silver, like cut-glass.

Shadow-show bathed everything in a fish tank blaze.

Ah, sunrise! Morning gives combat to the heavens of the June sky.--Into an ass was I then transformed, bellowing blasts of grief, as I frolicked through fields, suburban Sabines flinging their figures upon my form.


Long after countries and creatures, seasons and days.

A raw meat flag flies, 'gainst the silken seas and the arctic flowers. (Those things are fantasies.)

Giving me relief of the heroic fanfares of yesterday--they still attack me, nevertheless, heart and mind; far removed from the assassins of old.

Oh! A raw meat flag flies, 'gainst the silken seas and the arctic flowers. (Those things are fantasies.)--Ecstasy! Live coals rain down hot through the hoarfrost--Delights! The fire and the wind pour in torrents, hurled at the black heart of the burned-over Earth, for the sake of us all!

--Oh world! (Far from old haunts and hearths, felt and heard!)

Sea spume, magic.-- and music, drifting ice, colliding with the stars! Oh world, float on!

There see I forming sweet tresses and country eyes!

Oh! Delights

White tears bubble forth, and the voice of woman rises up from the mouths of volcanoes and grottoes of ice...


Tom Baker
Tom Baker
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Tom Baker

Author of Haunted Indianapolis , Indiana Ghost Folklore, , Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales, Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest :

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