ARTHUR RIMBAUD – THE SLEEPER IN THE VALLEY

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Arthur Rimbaud was born in the Arnennes in France in 1854.He influenced modern literature and arts, inspired various musicians, and prefigured surrealism/ He started writing poems at a very young age, while still in primary school, and stopped completely before he turned 21. He was mostly creative in his teens (17–20). His “genius, its flowering, explosion and sudden extinction, still astonishes”.Rimbaud was known to have been a Libertine and for being a restless soul. He traveled extensively on three continents before his death from cancer just after his thirty-seventh birthday.

“A poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systematized disorganization of all the senses. All forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he exhausts within himself all poisons, and preserves their quintessences. Unspeakable torment, where he will need the greatest faith, a superhuman strength, where he becomes all men the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed–and the Supreme Scientist! For he attains the unknown! Because he has cultivated his soul, already rich, more than anyone! He attains the unknown, and if, demented, he finally loses the understanding of his visions, he will at least have seen them! So what if he is destroyed in his ecstatic flight through things unheard of, unnameable: other horrible workers will come; they will begin at the horizons where the first one has fallen!”
Arthur Rimbaud

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.

Arthur Rimbaud

October 1870

I AM CHARLIE

France Newspaper Attack

I AM CHARLIE
I dreamt I saw Charlie last night
Alive as you and me
Charlie, I said, you’re surely dead
I never died says he
I never died says he

From Paris out to New Orleans
From Rheims to San Jose
The lousy bastards shot you dead
I never died says he
I never died says he

It takes more than guns to kill a man
Let freedom be the key
When working men stand up to them
That’s there you’ll find Charlie
I never died says he
I never died says he

(with apologies to Phil Ochs/Joe Hill)