By Arthur Rimbaud 1854–1891 Arthur Rimbaud

Translated By Reynolds Price Read the translator's notes

Pitiful brother—the dreadful nights I owed him! "I've got no real involvement in the business. I toyed with his weakness, so—it was my fault—we wound up back in exile and enslavement."

He saw me as a loser, a weird child; he added his own prods.

I answered my satanic doctor, jeering, and made it out the window. All down a landscape crossed by unheard-of music, I spun my dreams of a nighttime wealth to come.

After that more or less healthy pastime, I'd stretch out on a pallet. And almost every night, soon as I slept, my poor brother would rise—dry mouth and bulging eyes (the way he'd dreamt himself!)—and haul me into the room, howling his stupid dream.

Truly convinced, I'd vowed to take him back to his primal state—child of the sun—and so we wandered, fed on wine from the caves and gypsy bread, me bound to find the place itself and the code.

Source: Poetry (April 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2007
 Arthur  Rimbaud


It would be difficult to overestimate the influence of Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry on subsequent practitioners of the genre. His impact on the Surrealist movement has been widely acknowledged, and a host of poets, from André Breton to André Freynaud, have recognized their indebtedness to Rimbaud’s vision and technique. He was the enfant terrible of French poetry in the second half of the nineteenth century and a major figure in . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Friends & Enemies, Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Poetry & Poets


Poetic Terms Metaphor, Prose Poem, Persona, Symbolist

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.