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The prose poems of the great French Symbolist Arthur Rimbaud 1854 1891 have acuired enormous prestige among readers everywhere and have been a revolutionary influence on poetry in the twentieth century They are offered here both in their original texts and in superb English translations by Louise Varèse Mrs Varèse first published her versions of Rimbaud’s Illuminations in 1946 Since then she has revised her work and has included two poems which in the interim have been reclassified as part of Illuminations This edition also contains two other series of prose poems which include two poems only recently discovered in France together with an introduction in which Miss Varèse discusses the complicated ins and outs of Rimbaldien scholarship and the special ualities of Rimbaud’s writing Rimbaud was indeed the most astonishing of French geniuses Fired in childhood with an ambition to write he gave up poetry before he was twenty one Yet he had already produced some of the finest examples of French verse He is best known for A Season in Hell but his other prose poems are no less remarkable While he was working on them he spoke of his interest in hallucinations––des vertiges des silences des nuits These perceptions were caught by the poet in a beam of pellucid and strangely active language which still lights up––now here now there––unexplored aspects of experience and thought Illuminations

About the Author: Arthur Rimbaud

French poet and adventurer who stopped writing verse at the age of 19 and who became after his early death an inextricable myth in French gay life Rimbaud's poetry partially written in free verse is characterized by dramatic and imaginative vision I say that one must be a visionary that one must make oneself a VISIONARY His works are among the most original in the Symbolist movement R

10 thoughts on “Illuminations

  1. says:

    YouthI SundayWhen homework is done the inevitable descent from heaven and the visitation of memories and the session of rhythms invade the dwelling the head and the world of the spirit—A horse scampers off along the suburban turf and the gardens and the wood lots besieged by the carbonic plague Somewhere in the world a wretched melodramatic woman is sighing for unl

  2. says:

    A series of hallucinatory prose poems full of surreal images and turns of phrase In arresting detail the work lends voice to the poet’s fantasies and nightmares violently cycling between self loathing and grandeur euphoria and despair So often the work’s opaue and lines lend themselves to multiple readings inviting rereading

  3. says:

    ‏‎Illuminations‬ Arthur RimbaudIlluminations is an incompleted suite of prose poems by the French poet Arthur Rimbaud first published partially in La Vogue fr a Paris literary review in May–June 1886 The texts were reprinted in book form in October 1886 by Les publications de La Vogue under the title Les Illuminations proposed by the poet Paul Verlaine Rimbaud's for

  4. says:

    Despite my love for Rimbaud's poetry and intelligence painfully high I if you care about these things and my knowledge of him actually because of it I'd like to state something it is virtually impossible to read Rimbaud today in a critical or subjective manner any because his books and life have been so studied and examined by so many that you cannot shake off this feeling of

  5. says:

    Illuminations remains one of the most compelling influential and groundbreaking works of literature I've ever encountered And yes I am also staggered that this was written by somebody so youngConcise and expansive fluid and intricate imaginative and original immense kaleidoscopic soaring into heights that not many others are able to reach What can one add that hasn't been said a

  6. says:

    The clouds gathered over the open sea which was formed of an eternity of warm tearsThere was obviously a time when Rimbaud was an aspiration an impoverished goal one brocaded with the lice with which one can toss upon the clergy Allah of course had other plans I did read a number of fawning books and I maintained the posture for a while That is a but a memory Steeped perhaps in patc

  7. says:

    Haunting and surreal resonates in the hollowness we all try to fill

  8. says:

    Either Rimbaud is a bit like a popular brand of salty yeast extract or I have no poetic sensibility at all Oh well

  9. says:

    I feel a little about Ashbery translating Rimbaud the way I did about Pavement once closing a show with two Velvet Underground covers With both there’s a touching tip of the hat to one’s roots but also a little bit of giving the game away Not that either has to worry about the charge of being derivative if anything Ashbery’s Rimbaud sounds like elegant bittersweet cast off mot juste A

  10. says:

    I think what's amazing here is that a magnificent American Poet John Ashbery at the age 83 or something like that translated the great poetry of Arthur Rimbaud whose poems were written when he was in his teens The ultimate teenage rebel icon touched by the grand poet of American letters whose work is still controversial and has a bite One wonders what took so long?The truth is in this book well

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