I’ve recently come across an old edition of a magazine containing a list of the 100 most important literary works of History. To my surprise, the work of Arthur Rimbaud was mentioned in it.
Rimbaud was a young poet who had a turbulent life full of controversy and beauty in his love for men, especially for Verlaine, his most famous partner.
Here’s one of my favorite poems of his, which depicts a young man lied in a valley in the middle of the summer. A beautiful description of youth and its whirlwinds:
The Sleeper in the Valley
It is a green hollow where a stream gurgles,
Crazily catching silver rags of itself on the grasses;
Where the sun shines from the proud mountain:
It is a little valley bubbling over with light.
A young soldier, open-mouthed, bare-headed,
With the nape of his neck bathed in cool blue cresses,
Sleeps; he is stretched out on the grass, under the sky,
Pale on his green bed where the light falls like rain.
His feet in the yellow flags, he lies sleeping. Smiling as
A sick child might smile, he is having a nap:
Cradle him warmly, Nature: he is cold.
No odour makes his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, his hand on his breast
At peace. There are two red holes in his right side.
I love when artistic expectations are not met.