Illuminations is a collection of poems written by Arthur Rimbaud between the years 1873 and 1875. The majority of the poems which compose this collection were written during Rimbaud’s stay in the United Kingdom. It is a compelling read filled with vivid imagination and profound clarity.
The translator, John Ashberry, writes in the preface, “What are the Illuminations? Originally an untitled, unpaginated bunch of manuscript pages that Arthur Rimbaud handed to his former lover Paul Verlaine on the occasion of their last meeting, in Stuttgart in 1875.”
It began with a certain disgust and ended,-since we weren’t able to grasp this eternity all at once,-in a panicked rout of perfumes. – Arthur Rimbaud
This edition features forty three of Rimbaud’s poems. Present in their original French as well as their English translation on the opposite page.
Stirring up a pleasant taste of India ink, a black powder rains gently down on my sleepless night. I lower the gaslight, I throw myself on the bed, and, turning toward the dark, I see you, my daughters! my queens! – Arthur Rimbaud
The prose poems featured in this book evoke vivid images of cities and temples, of new love, golden leaves, and damp streets. Parks and valleys are brought to life; festivals, clock towers, sleepless nights, and palaces are built with words.
I stretched ropes from steeple to steeple; garlands from window to window; gold chains form star to star, and I dance. – Arthur Rimbaud
This is a fine book of poems for those interested in the works of Rimbaud and a pleasant read for those curious about his prose poetry.
Once the world has been reduced to a single dark wood for our four astonished eyes, and to a beach for two loyal children, and to a musical house for our clear sympathy, I’ll find you. – Arthur Rimbaud