Arthur Rimbaud

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

Novel - Poem by Arthur Rimbaud

I.

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. . .

II.

--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. . .

III.

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.

IV.

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

  • Joe Blow (11/28/2015 7:28:00 PM)

    Classic Rimbaud, the unsuspecting paradigm shift: that night your lover writes...(something sweet...i love you) , NO, that night you return to the Blinding cafes and order beer, but then he brings you out of the hole with another paradigm shift - -no one's serious at seventeen. Rimbaud in A Season In Hell, mentions Islam a couple times, but in all his writings he never once uses the words Jew or Jewish. In this poem he talks about dark blue stung by a sinister star small and white. I will often think of him often at all times of the day and He did come after shakespear (Report) Reply

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  • Douglas Scotney (9/25/2015 7:03:00 PM)

    if blinding cafes are too that at 17, can I use that as an excuse for not going to a party at 62? (Report) Reply

  • Oluwatomisin Eshton (9/25/2015 7:19:00 AM)

    its a sincere fact of the age group 17 and its factually true...no one is serious at 17...careless attitude and the love for everything...love it (Report) Reply

  • Kinyua Karanja Kinyua Karanja (9/25/2015 5:11:00 AM)

    No one is serious at seventeen I just like this since it's the fact of life, Nice piece. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis Edward Kofi Louis (9/25/2015 4:30:00 AM)

    You're in love! With the muse of life and the nature of things around you. Nice piece. (Report) Reply

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Jay Spence (3/4/2007 11:54:00 AM)

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

  • Xing A. (11/12/2006 9:53:00 AM)

    Yes we need more of Rimbaud! (Report) Reply

  • Mary X (9/2/2006 7:27:00 AM)

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

  • 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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