Arthur Rimbaud

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

The Bridges - Poem by Arthur Rimbaud

Skies the gray of crystal.
A strange design of bridges,
some straight, some arched,
others descending at oblique angles to the first;
and these figures recurring
in other lighted circuits of the canal,
but all so long and light that the banks,
laden with domes, sink and shrink.

A few of these bridges
are still covered with hovels,
others support polls,
signals, frail parapets.

Minor chords cross
each other and disappear;
ropes rise from the shore.

One can make out a red coat,
possibly other costumes
and musical instruments.
Are these popular tunes,
snatches of seigniorial concerts,
remnants of public hymns?

The water is gray and blue,
wide as an arm of the sea.
A white ray falling from high
in the sky destroys this comedy.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010

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