This week marked the birthday of poet Arthur Rimbaud (b. 20 October 1854).
In remembrance of his life and work, here are four superb poems by him…
The Sleeper of the Valley
There’s a green hollow where a river sings
Silvering the torn grass in its glittering flight,
And where the sun from the proud mountain flings
Fire — and the little valley brims with light
A soldier young, with open mouth, bare head,
Sleeps with his neck in dewy water cress,
Under the sky and on the grass his bed,
Pale in the deep green and the light’s excess
He sleeps amid the iris and his smile
Is like a sick child’s slumbering for a while.
Nature, in thy warm lap his chilled limbs hide!
The perfume does not thrill him from his rest.
He sleeps in sunshine, hand upon his breast,
Tranquil — with two red holes in his right side.
From Poets of Modern France
Ludwig Lewisohn 1918