Arthur Rimbaud

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

Parisian War Song - Poem by Arthur Rimbaud

Spring is evidently here;
for the ascent of Thiers
and Picard from the green Estates lays
its splendours wide open! O May!

What delirious bare bums!
O Sevres Meudon, Bagneux, Asnieres,
listen now to the welcome arrivals
scattering springtime joys!

They have shakos, and sabers, and tom-toms,
and none of the old candleboxes;
and skiffs which have nev… nev..
are cutting the lake of bloodstained waters.

More than ever before, we roister,
as on to our ant-heaps come tumbling the yellow heads,
on these extraordinary dawns:
Theirs and Picards are Cupids;
and beheaders of sunflowers too;
they paint peaceful landscapes
(Corots) with insecticide (paraffin):
look how their tropes de-cockchafer the trees…
'They're familiars of the Great What's-his-name!...' -
And Favre, lying among the irisis,
blinks and weeps crocodile tears,
and sniffs his peppery sniff!
The Big City has hot cobblestones,
in spite of your showers of paraffin;
and decidedly we shall have to liven you up in your parts..
And the Rustics who take their ease in long squattings
will hear boughs breaking among the red rustlings.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010

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