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The Poems

Arthur Rimbaud

Edited by Oliver Bernard

Translated by Oliver Bernard

No Text
Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (456 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2012)
9780856464409
Out of Stock
Digital access available through Exact Editions
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Reviews
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    Au Cabaret-Vert

    Cinq heures du soir

    Depuis huit jours, j’avais déchiré mes bottines
    Aux cailloux des chemins. J’entrais à Charleroi.
    – Au Cabaret-Vert: je demandai des tartines
    De beurre et du jambon qui fût à moitié froid.

    Bienheureux, j’allongeai les jambes sous la table
    Vert e: je contemplai les sujets très naïfs
    De la tapisserie. – Et ce fut adorable,
    Quand la fille aux tétons énormes, aux yeux vifs,

    – Celle-là, ce n’est pas un baiser qui l’épeure! –
    Rieuse, m’apporta des tartines de beurre,
    Du jambon tiède, dans un plat colorié,

    Du jambon rose et blanc parfumé d’une gousse
    D’ail, – et m’emplit la chope immense, avec sa mousse
    Que dorait un rayon de soleil arriéré.

    Octobre 70

     

    At the Green Inn

    Five in the evening

    For a whole week I had ripped up my boots on the stones of the roads. I walked into Charleroi. – Into the Green Inn: I asked for some slices of bread and butter, and some half-cooled ham.
          Happy, I stuck out my legs under the green table: I studied the artless patterns of the wallpaper – and it was charming when the girl with the huge breasts and lively eyes,
          – a kiss wouldn’t scare that one! – smilingly brought me some bread and butter and lukewarm ham, on a coloured plate; –
          pink and white ham, scented with a clove of garlic – and filled my huge beer mug, whose froth was turned into gold by a ray of late sunshine.

    The meteoric and turbulent career of Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891) was crammed into four teenage years, in which he wrote two masterpieces, The Illuminations and A Season in Hell, and some wonderful short poems. At nineteen he then turned his back on the literary life and left France, travelling to Aden where he lived for ten years, working as a trader.

    Oliver Bernard’s Rimbaud was first published in the Penguin Poets series in 1962, then as a Penguin Classic in 1986. This newly revised edition of his superb presentation incorporates corrections and revisions and adds Rimbaud’s juvenile Latin verse written as school exercises. The poems are presented in bilingual form with Bernard’s lively and accurate prose versions below the originals. As well as an outline Life of Rimbaud, Bernard has written a useful and entertaining introduction, to which he has added a new Preface and some Additional Notes. A selection of Rimbaud’s letters is also included.

    This is the best and most helpful presentation of the French genius’s work for English-language readers and students of French poetry. Oliver Bernard’s translations were described in a Times review by Robert Nye as ‘quite outstanding . . . so intrinsically poetic that it comes as no surprise to find that Bernard writes original verse himself.’ Anvil has published his poetry, Verse &c. (2001) and his Apollinaire: Selected Poems (new edition 2004). He has lived in Norfolk for over 30 years.
     

    Arthur Rimbaud
    Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891) was born in Charleville, Ardennes. His creativity coincided with his turbulent relationship with Paul Verlaine in his late teens. All his poetry was written before he was 21. He gave up writing and began to travel, spending 11 years in the port town Aden in Abyssinia (Yemen). Ill, ... read more
    Oliver Bernard
    Oliver Bernard, born in 1925, worked as an advisory teacher of drama, and was a director of the Speak a Poem Competition since its inception. He was a fine reader and in 2012 produced a second CD of his readings, Rimbaud, Whitman Etc . This also included his own sequence ... read more
    Praise for Arthur Rimbaud 'Absolute modernity is perhaps granted by this translation, published nearly a century after the original work, infusing the poems with a newfound modernity...Rimbaud's hallucinatory visions translated as poetry and prose is beautifully rendered by Ashbery who manages to transcend the limits of language.'
    Emma Kious, DURA

    'One of the strongest, most exuberant and closely engaged translations of Rimbaud's work.'

    The Guardian, 2011

     Arthur Rimbaud, the 19th-century French poet, was a ferocious malcontent, who free-wheeled towards self-destruction with the help of hashish and quantities of alcohol. Rimbaud's most thouroughly modern masterpiece, Illuminations, is now translated by John Ashbury, who brilliantly captures the volume's dizzy-making, metropolitan imagery of subways, viaducts, raised canals and bridges. - Ian Thompson, The Spectator, Books of the Year It is always a pleasure to have the extraordinary poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, teenage prodigy and (in later life) gun-runner, rendered anew into English: this version of the late poem cycle Illuminations translated by the American poet John Ashbery, is vertiginous, exhilarating and mildly hallucinogenic. - Michael Glover, The Tablet  One of the strongest, most exuberant and closely engaged translations of Rimbaud's work. - Guardian, 2011 It is always a pleasure to have the extraordinary poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, teenage prodigy and (in later life) gun-runner, rendered anew into English: this version of the late poem cycle Illuminations translated by the American poet John Ashbery, is vertiginous, exhilarating and mildly hallucinogenic. - Michael Glover, The Tablet  Arthur Rimbaud, the 19th-century French poet, was a ferocious malcontent, who free-wheeled towards self-destruction with the help of hashish and quantities of alcohol. Rimbaud's most thouroughly modern masterpiece, Illuminations, is now translated by John Ashbury, who brilliantly captures the volume's dizzy-making, metropolitan imagery of subways, viaducts, raised canals and bridges. - Ian Thompson, The Spectator, Books of the Year
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