15 November, 2005


So unbelievably cold for mid-November. It seems that the best part of fall - the colors, the leaves on the breeze, the smell of decay - went away so quickly this year. Though some trees cling obstinately to their dead and shriveled leaves, the City has been so efficient this year that the streets of my neighborhood have already been swept clean of that comforting layer of mashed, damp, fragrant leaf material. I was never lucky enough in my education to be forced to learn poetry by heart. Nevertheless, certain situations and events sometimes call to mind poems I've had the good fortune to become acquainted with. The bitter cold brought this poem by Rimbaud to mind, though a little apropos of nothing perhaps, and I was lucky to find it online; so I hereby cut and paste:

Rêve pour l’hiver

L’hiver, nous irons dans un petit wagon rose
Avec des coussins bleus.
Nous serons bien. Un nid de baisers fous repose
Dans chaque coin moelleux.

Tu fermeras l’œil, pour ne point voir, par la glace,
Grimacer les ombres des soirs,
Ces monstruosités hargneuses, populace
De démons noirs et de loups noirs.

Puis tu te sentiras la joue égratignée…
Un petit baiser, comme une folle araignée,
Te courra par le cou…

Et tu me diras : "Cherche !", en inclinant la tête,
- Et nous prendrons du temps à trouver cette bête
- Qui voyage beaucoup...

And I was lucky enough to find an English traslation at http://www.mag4.net/Rimbaud/poesies/Dream.html

Dream for Winter

In the winter, we shall travel in a little pink railway carriage
With blue cushions.
We shall be comfortable. A nest of mad kisses lies in wait
In each soft corner.

You will close your eyes, so as not to see, through the glass,
The evening shadows pulling faces.
Those snarling monsters, a population
Of black devils and black wolves.

Then you'll feel your cheek scratched...
A little kiss, like a crazy spider,
Will run round your neck...

And you'll say to me : "Find it !" bending your head
- And we'll take a long time to find that creature
- Which travels a lot...

From Oliver Bernard's translation : Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962)
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