Monday, 23 October 2017


    The classic poem I am featuring today is by French poet, Arthur Rimbaud. The poem tells us of the innocence of youth. For many youths are carefree in life and carefree in love. As his writing career finished at a young age I can only surmise that the words in this poem reflect his own attitude towards life and love at one time. The author himself died of cancer, at the age of thirty-seven years, but by this time had found out after a stormy love affair, that love wasn't so carefree after all.



No one is serious at seventeen
On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade
And loud, blinding cafes 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

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 fell a kiss
On your lips, quivering like a living thing

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

You're in love. Off mark 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 cafes
You order beer or lemonade
No one is serious at seventeen
When lindens line the promenade

                                           Arthur Rimbaud 1854-1891

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