The poems typify European longing for escape from the feudal history of their rigid societies, and make one think of a dog yowling at the moon while teathered to the rock that Sisyphus rolled up the hill.
A highly introverted exposay of French longing for the nobel savage, dramatically punctuated with images as consoling as the sun going nova, blazing in the eye of a mad dog.
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About the Author
A volatile and peripatetic poet, the prodigy ARTHUR RIMBAUD wrote all of his poetry in a space of less than five years. His poem "Voyelles" invoked synesthesia, marking him as a founder of French symbolism, and his Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in Hell) is considered one of the first works of free verse. His poetry was subconsciously inspired and highly suggestive; his persona was caustic and unstable. Though brilliant, during his life his peers regarded him as perverse, unsophisticated, and youthfully arrogant, and he died virtually indifferent to his own work. DONALD REVELL is Professor of English & Director of Creative Writing programs at UNLV. Thief of Strings is his tenth poetry collection, published by Alice James. Twice winner of the PEN Center USA Award for Poetry, he has also won the Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Prize and is a former fellow of the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations. Additionally, he has twice been granted fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. Donald Revell's previous translations include A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud (Omnidawn 2007), which won the PEN USA Translation Award. He has also translated The Self-Dismembered Man: Selected Later Poems by Guillame Apollinaire, and Alcools: Poems by Guillame Apollinaire, both published by Wesleyan University Press. His books of essays include Invisible Green: Selected Prose, published by Omnidawn. Former editor-in-chief of Denver Quarterly, he now serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review. Revell lives in the desert south of Las Vegas with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their children Benjamin Brecht and Lucie Ming.
Table of Contents
Après le déluge / After the Flood • Enfance / Childhood • Conte / Tale • Parade / Circus Parade • Antique / Antique • Being Beauteous / Being Beauteous • Vies / Lives • Départ / Departure • Royauté / Royalty • À une raison / To a Reason • Matinee d’ivresse / Morning of Drunkenness • Phrases / Phrases • Ouvriers / Workers • Les Ponts / The Bridges • Ville / City • Ornières / Ruts • Villes (Ce sont des villes!...) / Cities • Vagabonds / Vagabonds • Villes (L’acropole officielle...) / Cities • Veillées / Vigils • Mystique / Mystic • Aube / Dawn • Fleurs / Flowers • Nocturne vulgaire / Crude Nocturne • Marine / Seascape • Fête d’hiver / Winter Festival •Angoisse / Agony • Métropolitain / Metropolitan •Barbe / Barbarian • Promontoire / Promontory • Scènes / Scenes • Soir historique / Historic Evening • Mouvement / Movement • Bottom / Bottom • H / H • Dévotion / Devotion • Démocratie / Democracy • Fairy / Fairy • Guerre / War • Génie / Genie • Jeunesse / Youth • Solde / Going Out of Business • Translator’s Afterword • Index of French Titles • Index of English Titles
What People are Saying About This
“Divided as it still is among its several collectors, the manuscript of Illuminations, ‘a sheaf of loose, unnumbered sheets,’ (Félix Fénéon) was not exactly a book, and may not actually have been called Illuminations, or The Illuminations, but that is another story. In this new translation, Donald Revell becomes neo-alchemical transpositions of Arthur Rimbaud. He fancifully exhibits dreams and hallucinations, new elliptical ultrasounds ending ‘with angels of fire and ice.’ Revell’s dedicated translation presents these astonishing prose poems ‘bedecked with flags and flowers’.”
“Finally, a translation that brings Rimbaud, entire and vital, into English. In his masterful and acutely intuitive treatment of this classic, Donald Revell has caught the immediacy of tone and the jarring, often downright alarming juxtapositions and word choices that make Rimbaud's work still so unnervingly modern. Revell has made these familiar poems no longer familiar, but strange and rawwhat a pleasure to be able to discover them all over again!”
“What a blessing to be given Donald Revell's revelling again in the work of Rimbaud, this time in The Illuminations, Rimbaud's ecstatic vision of life on earth and its end. His "further gospel" (following that of Jesus of Nazareth) proclaims not hope, but happiness. And all in Revell's brilliantly buoyant natural language, and, as in A Season in Hell, the gift of his risky and devoted Translator's Afterword.”