Arthur Rimbaud

(20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891 / Charleville, Ardennes)

Novel - Poem by Arthur Rimbaud


No one's serious at seventeen.
--On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade
And loud, blinding cafés are the last thing you need
--You stroll beneath green lindens on the promenade.

Lindens smell fine on fine June nights!
Sometimes the air is so sweet that you close your eyes;
The wind brings sounds--the town is near--
And carries scents of vineyards and beer. . .


--Over there, framed by a branch
You can see a little patch of dark blue
Stung by a sinister star that fades
With faint quiverings, so small and white. . .

June nights! Seventeen!--Drink it in.
Sap is champagne, it goes to your head. . .
The mind wanders, you feel a kiss
On your lips, quivering like a living thing. . .


The wild heart Crusoes through a thousand novels
--And when a young girl walks alluringly
Through a streetlamp's pale light, beneath the ominous shadow
Of her father's starched collar. . .

Because as she passes by, boot heels tapping,
She turns on a dime, eyes wide,
Finding you too sweet to resist. . .
--And cavatinas die on your lips.


You're in love. Off the market till August.
You're in love.--Your sonnets make Her laugh.
Your friends are gone, you're bad news.
--Then, one night, your beloved, writes. . .!

That night. . .you return to the blinding cafés;
You order beer or lemonade. . .
--No one's serious at seventeen
When lindens line the promenade.

Comments about Novel by Arthur Rimbaud

  • Rookie Mel Vincent Basconcillo (5/4/2009 1:51:00 AM)

    Arthur Rimbaud at his finest..truly amazing poem! one of my favorites! (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Rookie Dimitris(Jimmy) Psachos (6/16/2007 12:26:00 PM)

    The eternal youth...loses his power due to the lack of his masterpieces.Need more 'Illuminations', Novel's only a part of his poetic majesty.... (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 511 Points Robert Rorabeck (4/27/2007 8:51:00 PM)

    This is a great translation of Novel- I'm in love with the poem- It comes from Rimbaud Complete, which, as it says, has all of Rimbaud's poems. Worth checking out. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jay Spence (3/4/2007 11:54:00 AM)

    I agree. Rimbaud is by far my favorite. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Xing A. (11/12/2006 9:53:00 AM)

    Yes we need more of Rimbaud! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Mary X (9/2/2006 7:27:00 AM)

    Agreed! Its so shocking... Need more.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Brian Routh (11/27/2005 11:15:00 AM)

    i find it to be really odd that this is the only poem by such a major french poet that is available on this site! (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: june, august, girl, sometimes, star, kiss, father, beautiful, green, wind, dark, night, light, friend

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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