The Drunken Boat, poem by the year-old French poet Arthur Rimbaud, written in as “Le Bateau ivre” and often considered his finest poem. The poem. The Drunken Boat by Arthur I drifted on a river I could not control No longer guided by the bargemens ropes. They were captured by howling. Old mill at Charleville on the river Meuse around the turn of the century. To the right is quai Madeleine where Rimbaud lived with his mother, brother, and sisters .

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And the unmoored Peninsulas Never endured more erunken clamourings. When, along with my haulers, those uproars stopped, the Rivers let me sail downstream where I pleased. I’ve seen thunderstruck archipelagos! I have followed, for whole months on end, the swells battering the reefs like hysterical herds of cows, never dreaming that the luminous feet of the Marys could muzzle by force the snorting Oceans!

I long for Europe with its ancient parapets And from that time on I bathed in the Poem of the Sea, star-infused and churned into milk, devouring the green azures where, entranced in pallid flotsam, a dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down; where, suddenly dyeing the blueness, deliriums and slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight, stronger than alcohol, vaster than music, ferment the bitter rednesses of love!

I know night, Dawn rising like a nation of voat, and I’ve seen, booat, what men only dreamed they saw! I should have liked to show children those sunfish Of the blue wave, the fish of gold, the singing fish.

The Drunken Boat: Arthur Rimbaud – Poems

True, I’ve wept too much. I can no more, bathed in your langours, O waves, sail in the wake of the carriers of cottons; nor undergo the pride of the flags and pennants; nor pull past the horrible eyes of prison hulks. The tempest blessed my sea awakening.

Lighter than a cork, I danced on the waves which men call the eternal rollers of victims, for ten nights, without once missing the foolish eye of the harbor lights! Arthur Rimbaud’s Other Poems.

I drifted on through fragile tangled lines Drowned men, still staring up, sank down to sleep. Now, I, a boat lost in the hair rlmbaud the coves, tossed by hurricane into the birdless air, me, whom all the Monitors and Hansa sailing ships could not salvage, my carcass drunk with sea; free, rising like smoke, riding violet mists, I who pierced the sky turning red like a wall, who bore the exquisite jam of all good poets, lichens of sun and snots of azure, who, spotted with electric crescents, ran on, a foolish plank escorted by black hippocamps, when the Julys brought down with a single blow the ultramarine sky with its burning funnels; I who tremble, feeling the moan fifty leagues away of the Behemoth rutting and the dull Maelstrom, eternal ri,baud of the unmovable blue— I grieve for Europe with its ancient breastworks!


Since then, I have bathed in the Poem of the Sea, a milky way, infused with stars, devouring the azure greens where, flotsam-pale and ravished, drowned and pensive men float by.

Sometimes, a martyr weary of poles and zones, The sea whose sobs sweetened my rollings Lifted its shadow-flowers with their yellow sucking disks toward me And I hung there like a kneeling woman Where, suddenly dyeing the bluenesses, deliriums And slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight, Stronger than alcohol, vaster than music Ferment the bitter rednesses of love! Dawns are bkat Every sun is agonizing, every moon is cruel Acrid love has swollen me with drunken torpors Split apart my keel!

True, I’ve cried too much; I am heartsick at dawn. I saw the sun with mystic horrors boatt And shimmer through a violet haze; With a shiver of shutters the waves fell Like actors in ancient, forgotten plays! French literature, the body of written works in the French language produced within the geographic and political boundaries of France.

I know the skies bursting with lighting, and the waterspouts And the surf and the currents; I know the evening, And dawn as exhalted as a flock of doves, And at times I have seen what man thought he saw!

Such a ruin of water in the midst of calm, and the distant horizon worming into whirlpools! I who rose from violet fog and ran Rainbows Birdling blind flocks beneath the horizons!

Hideous wrecks at the bottom of muddy gulfs where giant serpents, devoured by lice, drop with black perfume out of twisted trees! I have come to know the skies splitting with lightnings, and the waterspouts And the breakers and currents; I know the evening, And Dawn rising up like a flock of doves, And sometimes I have seen what men have imagined they saw! And the unmoored Peninsulas never endured more triumphant clamourings. Light as a cork I danced upon the waves, ten nights And never missed the lantern’s idiot eyes Who ran, stained with electric moonlets, A crazed plank, companied by black sea-horses, When Julys were crushing with cudgel blows Skies of ultramarine in burning funnels: At times a martyr weary of poles and zones, The sea, whose sob created my gentle roll, Brought up to me her dark flowers with yellow suckers And I remained like a woman on her knees Vladimir Nabokov translated it to Russian in Into the ferocious tide-rips Last winter, more absorbed than the minds of children, I ran!


The Drunken Boat – Poem by Arthur Rimbaud

Articles containing French-language text Articles needing additional references from May All articles needing additional references. This article needs additional citations for verification. Sometimes like a martyr, tired of poles and zones, the sea has rolled me softly in her sigh and held out to me the yellow cups of shadow flowers, and I’ve remained there, like a woman, kneeling. Nacrous waves, silver suns, glaciers, ember skies!

Who ran, stained with electric moonlets, A crazed plank, companied by black sea-horses, When Julys were crushing with cudgel blows Skies of ultramarine in burning funnels: If there is one water in Europe I want, it is the Black cold pool where into the scented twilight A child squatting full of sadness, launches A boat as fragile as a butterfly in May.

And I sailed on, when through my fragile ropes Drowned men sank backward to sleep! Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves That are called eternal rollers of victims, Ten nights, without missing the stupid eye of the lighthouses!

Downfalls of waters in the midst of the calm And distances cataracting down into abysses!

Yelping redskins had taken them as targets, Goat had nailed them naked to colored stakes. O let me sink to the bottom! I wanted to show children these dorados of the blue wave, these golden, singing fish.

The Drunken Boat | poem by Rimbaud |

Berkeley and at Yale University. Paul VerlaineFrench lyric poet first associated with the Parnassians and later known as a leader of the Symbolists. I, who trembled to hear those agonies Of rutting Behemoths and dark Maelstroms, Eternal spinner of blue immobilities, I regret the ancient parapets of Europe!

I knew the skies split apart by lightning, Waterspouts, breakers, tides: Where, staining the blue, sudden rimbakd And slow tremors under the gleams of fire, Stronger than alcohol, vaster than our rhythms, Ferment the bitter reds of our desire!