Three Translations of Rimbaud

Antique

Arthur Rimbaud

Gracieux fils de Pan! Autour de ton front couronné de fleurettes et de baies tex yeux, des boules précieuses, remuent. Tachées de lies brunes, tes joues se creusent. Tes crocs luisent. Ta poitrine ressemble à une cithare, des tintements circulent dans tes bras blonds. Ton cœur bat dans ce ventre où dort le double sexe. Promène-toi, la nuit, en mouvant doucement cette cuisse, cette seconde cuisse et cette jambe de gauche.


Antique

trans. John Ashbery

Graceful son of Pan! Around your forehead crowned with small flowers and berries, your eyes precious spheres, are moving. Spotted with brownish wine lees, your cheeks grow hollow. Your fangs gleam. Your chest is like a lyre, jingling sounds circulate between your blond arms. Your heart beats in that belly where the double sex sleeps. Walk at night, gently moving that thigh, that second thigh and that left leg.


Ancient

trans. Wallace Fowlie

Graceful son of Pan! Under your brow crowned with flowers and berries, your eyes, precious balls, move. Spotted with dark streaks, your cheeks look hollow. Your fangs glisten. Your chest is like a lyre and tinklings move up and down your white arms. Your heart beats in that abdomen where your double sex sleeps. Walk at night and move gently this thigh, then this other thigh and this left leg.


Against

trans. Joseph M. Gerace

Beats in the belly! Whereas your bat dans tes pan! Autour heart beats in the abdomen where your fangs glisten. Your eyes, remuent. Tachées de gauche. Ancient trains walk at night, gently moving sound. Your eyes, your forehead, crowned with small flowers and berries, your forehead — crocs-luisent. Tachées de les tes yeux, des boules précieux fils de pan! Under your fangs gleam brilliant blond arms. Your double, à une cithare, des tes yeux, des boules précieux, fils de pan! Autour forehead crocs luisent. Tachées de pan! Autour hearts beat in your thigh.

‘Royalty’ by Arthur Rimbaud, trans. John Ashbery

First published in 1886, Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations, the work of a poet who had abandoned poetry before the age of twenty-one, changed the language of poetry. Hallucinatory and feverishly hermetic, it is an acknowledged masterpiece of world literature, still unrivaled for its haunting blend of sensuous detail and otherworldly astonishment. In Ashbery's translation of this notoriously elusive text, the acclaimed poet and translator lends his inimitable voice to a venerated classic.
He died of cancer in a Marseilles hospital in 1891, still young — having in effect compressed what for others would have been a long lifetime of artistic revolution and exotic adventure into just 37 years.
Arthur Rimbaud was born in 1854 in Charleville, in the northeast of France close to the Belgian border, to a sour-tempered, repressively pious mother and a mostly absent soldier father who disappeared for good when Rimbaud was 6.

Royauté

Un beau matin, chez un peuple fort doux, un homme et une femme superbes criaient sur la place publique. «Mes amis, je veux qu’elle soit reine!» «Je veux être reine!» Elle riait et tremblait. Il parlait aux amis de révélation, d’épreuve terminée. Ils se pâmaient lun contre l’autre.

En effet ils furent rois toute toute une matinée où les tentures carminées se relevèrent sur les maisons, et toute l´après-midi, où ils sávancérent du côté des jardins de palmes.

Royalty

One fine morning, in the country of a very gentle people, a magnificent man and woman were shouting in the public square. “My friends, I want her to be queen!” “I want to be queen!” She was laughing and trembling. He spoke to their friends of revelation, of trials completed. They swooned against each other.

In fact they were regents for a whole morning as crimson hangings were raised against the houses, and for the whole afternoon, as they moved toward the groves of palm trees.

Source: Rimbaud, Arthur, and John Ashbery. Illuminations. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012, pp. 52-53.

Cover Letter in Mourning (Nate Marshall)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 849

“For King, for Robert Kennedy,
destroyed by those they could not save,
for King for Kennedy I mourn.
And for America, self-destructive, self-betrayed.

I grieve. Yet know the vanity
of grief—through power of 
The Blessed Exile’s
transilluminating word

aware of how these deaths, how all
the agonies of our deathbed childbed age
are process, major means whereby,
oh dreadfully, our humanness must be achieved.”

Robert Hayden

cover-letter-sm

To Whom It May Concern,

complex professionals who strafe
u.s. senators and storytelling strivers
thinker attuned team members and persistences
free prisoners across departments i’m a self-starter
and strategically precise ethical blackness of the tail
this exciting spectrum of designers and storytelling stibnite
with law enforcement mayors and storytellers
combine social media proven critical excitement and style
i’ve led law enforcement hemmed in mermaids

mayors ensure negotiations splash
across a broadly speaking considerated enthusiasm
met with thoughtful concern
i’ve managed senators and corpo-strategic efficiences
deck-in across departments i’m a small rat whose best practices
self-start and persist under the window
perfectly planned superflat writing styles i heart feeders
simultaneously my audience i’m joseph m. gerace
i’ve managed several leaders marked general delivery

who manages the mayors
i’ve met with law enforcement
i’m a small business i know the value of a bushel of stibnite
broadly speaking i’m a chunk of content
comets and lakes and corporate journalism
got a toolbox persists across an irradiated spectrum of designers
u.s. and strategic partners pretensions
professional skaters tweet for corporations shot up facebook feeds
simultaneously my audience

in business for yourself, not by yourself
floodlit and eloquent

i’m the high-pressure hose
negotiating needs lord riot
several scrupulous lenders whom mayor from on high
high as fuck small businesses owned by state senators loaned
to lobsters ensure negotiations get by across departments
manors made of facebook feeds motivate technologies
small news and black nutrition monthly tech law
jude law enforcement governors u.s. and state senators
salesmen spectrum’d designers of death’s persistent

lust trails the heart around its bone

across department resistance
divest my target audience
persist i’m jewish yearly forward facing style
i’ve managed several audiences día de reyes
i’ve manipulated several audiences the taste of flesh is good
persistence consistently across departments sans agency

communion communication combination domination
mayors combust by combustion and pestilence floating
indicators across the wire broadly speaking considerate
i’m a small business and naturally intergalactic enforcer

shriek of bloody glass

at the end of a dream
i’m a small b

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Joseph M. Gerace

Eighteen Wheeler at Speed (Broken Time)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 818

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-26,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

is oblomov soaring only when giacometti is on?
what about oblomov oh you don’t know?

enough with the joists monetizing pastures
run out loud

no maggot-lonely world no
doesn’t know enough about capital

sarah morris now and time
too mustn’t be so ashberian

insomniaholic holy whirling amongst eyeful photosynthetics
evans was history from beat one

which has a history
at which point linear decomposition

this political meaning
points to they are not american

so that’s why
if you can write unentertaining books about capital now

and people are not american that’s why if you can
only wear today sit up and bray at propeller sky
ignore the scoreboard time mustn’t be so ashberian

insomniaholic holy when giacometti is on and on about chimamanda ngozi adichie
the opposite of spinach is armor and
which are gathered in a sacred pile by horses trust me i’ve researched this stuff

capital and quarterbacks who were very rich
white books about football and baseball and time too
mustn’t be so ashberian insomniaholic holy whirling amongst eyeful photosynthetics

evans was common about his pointy stuff
capital now and again peopled into his arm
they are not so american that’s why

if you can write books about chimamanda ngozi adichie and sarah morris and time
too mustn’t be so ashberian insomniaholic holy whirling amongst eyeful photosynthetics
evans was a political climate come on you mustn’t be so ashberian

insomniaholic holy whirling amongst eyeful photosynthetics
evans was common with his stuff slurping the opposite of spinach
so deeply layered and which point to pure compostable pastures
run out loud no maggot-lonely joists and monetized highways

psychological meanings
i think the world doesn’t consider the implication
only whirling amongst eyeful photosynthetics
evans was a common thing in the rain the robin is far from beautiful

yet it lives so well behind me
on fire an 18 wheeler at speed
i am a dumb young man
but i am

Ashbery on the Beauty of Deadlines

Source: Lehman, David. The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets. 1999. Print.

A Long Poem Inspired by Days of Overeating Metaphor

Wikipedia Poem, No. 596

w596

“I’ve given this coldness many names / thinking if it had a name it would have a solution” Kaveh Akbar

  nor is not its
     reader   nor is not its reader   a politician's slight to create a god
if they weren't given here   men are taught to create a god
if the roots of which i am so enamored poet
      of
the you the famous
poem is not this condition is not this condition is your lips offer up
a mouthful of hand like an acrobat part you when the poem
is guaranteed in this condition is you in the you
         in the you in the poet of him again his condition is not popular
your lips of the you in they weren't given here   men are taught of
the you in this condition is
not everyone knows the poem is not its reader   nor is not its reader
nor is pleasure guaranteed
      in the
you in the room and which i am so enamored poem is you
in the roots offer up a mouthful of
which aggravates an entire season
of
the poem is not its reader   a
  politician's slight of the poem is
         not
this condition is not this condition is not this condition
is not
      its reader   nor is not its reader   nor is you guaranteed
sitting on the roots of which i am so enamored poem is not its
reader   nor is guaranteed
        in the famous poet of sand   even here   men are taught to create
a god if you wish aggravation   an acrobat
      parts
you in the ways given here
men are taught to create a
god if the roots offer up a mouthful of him
again imagine you in the room   an entire season of pear trees
everyone knows the roots
of which aggravates
an acrobat parts   you room and aggravate
an acrobat part you of whom i am so enamored this poem is not its reader
nor is it a lover   nor is it guaranteed   in you the room
like an entire season of sand
everyone knows the poet
who is not a reader  nor is guaranteed in the roots
offer up a mouthful of the room which aggravates
an acrobat part of you in the room and which aggravates
an acrobat part your lips
of the room and like an acrobat part you the poem is not its reader
nor is guaranteed in the popular you the room and
which aggravates an entire season
of sand   everyone knows the room
and like an entire season of which aggravates an
acrobat part your lips offer up a mouthful of the poem is not
        the famous poem is not
this condition is not its reader
    a
     politician's slight
to
create a god if the popular
you in they weren't given here   men are taught
to
create a god if they weren't given here
     men are taught to create a god if the your lips offer up a mouthful of
which aggregates   an
entire season of aggravates 

 

John Ashbery, 1927-2017

ash

“Fear of Death” by John Ashbery

What is it now with me
And is it as I have become?
Is there no state free from the boundry lines
Of before and after? The window is open today

And the air pours in with piano notes
In its skirts, as though to say, “Look, John,
I’ve brought these and these”—that is,
A few Beethovens, some, Brahmses,

A few choice Poulenc notes. . . . Yes,
It is being free again, the air, it has to keep coming back
Because that’s all it’s good for.
I want to stay with it out of fear

That keeps me from walking up certain steps,
Knocking at certain doors, fear of growing old
Alone, and of finding no one at the evening end
Of the path except another myself

Nodding a curt greeting: “Well, you’ve been awhile
But now we’re back together, which is what counts.”
Air in My path, you could shorten this,
But the breeze has dropped, and silence is the last word.

David Remnick

DR

Referential in a way John Ashbery could never be —
I’ve yet to read John Ashbery.

I’m at the ironbark dreaming,
Except I’m not; I’m ironstone.

The world will not let me
Say what I mean; or I

Come across
Weak, watered down

And cheap. I’m afraid to pay
For what I deserve; “Alright.

Honey, have a safe trip.
Yep, OK. Alright, the plan is airtight.”

“be frank (if you can’t be frank, be john and kenneth).”

be frank

From “The Last Avant-Garde” by David Lehman:

[Frank] O’Hara’s ironically self-deprecating tone was much imitated. “I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love,” he wrote. He kiddingly called his own poems “the by-product of exhibitionism” and wrote constantly about his daily life. It was O’Hara who initiated the policy of dropping names in his poems, a habit that became a New York School trademark. O’Hara peppered his work with references to his painter friends — [Jane] Freilicher, [Larry] Rivers, Mike Goldberg, Joan Mitchell, Norman Bluhm, Grace Hartigan, Al Leslie — with perfect indifference to whether readers would recognize their names. That indifference argued a certain confidence in the poet’s ability to make the details of his autobiography-in-progress so irresistible that the reader feels flattered to be regarded as the poet’s intimate. O’Hara s celebration of friendship in poetry represented an ideal that second-generation New York School poets, such as Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Ron Padgett, and Anne Waldman, emulated in the 1960s. Everyone wanted to be, as [Ted] Berrigan put it, “perfectly frank.” James Schuyler has a marvelous rift in a letter to Berkson urging him to “be frank (if you can’t be frank, be john and kenneth). Say,” Schuyler continues, “maybe our friends’ names would make good verbs: to kenneth: emit a loud red noise; to ashbery- cast a sidewise salacious glance while holding a champagne glass by the stem; to kenward: glide from the room and not make waves; to brainard, give a broad and silent chuckle; to maehiz, shower with conversational spit drops–but I said friends, didn’t I–cancel the last. To berkson and to schuyler I leave to you.”

spacer1

Source: Lehman, David. The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets. New York: Doubleday, 1998, print, p. 73.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 208

wiki208

“I came to explore the wreck. / The words are purposes.” Adrienne Rich

 

ok listen i
don’t want to
be rude

court fashion follows
cuttings rope or
from which rumors

and plus you’re
old building upon
years of respect

abound to use
verdugado from scandalous
illegitimate children’s songs

able work that
i personally redundant
love and admire

fashion by pedro
de castilla y
fonseca el mozo

but jesus fucking
christ give it
a rest with

this shiny coin
wide eye wink
wink farthingale bullshit

rumors about whalebone
spanish steps its
way into england

her wanton bough
surfaces as executioner
earliest images execute

farthingale derives from
conjecture cutting ropes
silhouette no reply

hand finishing thread
the edge matters
for you hems

each piece apart
so tiny fabrics
machine stitch research

the matter suggests
togetherness long quality
little weakened years

part of the
embroidery age oh
perfect seams intimidate

wink wink wink
farthingale but jesus
fucking christ give

it a rest
with this coin
shine wide eye

love and admire
bullshit ok listen
i don’t want

to sound rude
and admire but
jesus fucking christ

upon the cross
coin shine wide
eye wide eyed

farthingale bullshit ok
listen i don’t
want to be

plus sized and
you’re old building
christ give it

a respectable wage
that i personally
redundantly love and

plus able bodied
work loves jesus
upon your admiral

i personally love
and admire bullshit
ok don’t listen

 


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