Arthur Rimbaud (October 20, 1854 – November 10, 1891)
I went off with my hands in my torn coat pockets;
My overcoat too was becoming ideal;
I travelled beneath the sky, Muse! and I was your vassal;
Oh dear me! what marvelous loves I dreamed of!
My only pair of breeches had a big whole in them.
– Stargazing Tom Thumb, I sowed rhymes along my way.
My tavern was at the Sign of the Great Bear.
– My stars in the sky rustled softly.
And I listened to them, sitting on the road-sides
On those pleasant September evenings while I felt drops
Of dew on my forehead like vigorous wine;
And while, rhyming among the fantastical shadows,
I plucked like the strings of a lyre the elastics
Of my tattered boots, one foot close to my heart!
Listen to Claire Trevien read My Bohemian Life by Arthur Rimbaud in French and English here.