Arthur Rimbaud

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

Lips Shut. Seen In Rome - Poem by Arthur Rimbaud

In Rome within the Sistine Chapel,
Covered over with Christian signs,
There is a scarlet coloured casket
Where most ancient noses dry:

Noses of Thebaid ascetics,
Noses of Sangreal canons
In which livid night firmset is,
And the old sepulchral anthems.

Into their aridity mystical
Is introduced each morningtide
Some filthiness schismatical
Ground into a powder fine.
Léon Dierx

Original French

Les lèvres closes.
Vu à Rome

Il est, à Rome, à la Sixtine,
Couverte d'emblèmes chrétiens,
Une cassette écarlatine
Où sèchent des nez fort anciens :

Nez d'ascètes de Thébaïde,
Nez de chanoines du Saint Graal
Où se figea la nuit livide,
Et l'ancien plain-chant sépulcral.

Dans leur sécheresse mystique,
Tous les matins, on introduit
De l'immondice schismatique
Qu'en poudre fine on a réduit.
Léon Dierx.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010

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