Notice by Paul Verlaine
PUBLICATIONS DE LA VOGUE
The book that we offer to the public was written from 1873 to 1875, among travels in Belgium and England and in all Germany.
Illuminations is an English word and means coloured engravings, - coloured plates: it is even the subtitle that Mr. Rimbaud had given to his manuscript.
As we will see, this one is composed of short pieces, exquisite prose or verse delightfully false on purpose. There is no main idea or at least we do not find it. Obvious joy to be a great poet, such fairy landscapes, adorable hazy outlined loves and highest (arrived) ambition of style: so is the summary that we believe we can dare to give to the work below. To the reader to admire in detail.
Very short biographical notes will perhaps look nice.
Mr. Arthur Rimbaud was born from a good middle-class family in Charleville (Ardennes) where he made excellent and rather revolted studies. At the age of sixteen, he had written the most beautiful verse of the world, whose many excerpts by us were formerly given in a lampoon called The Accursed Poets. He is now thirty-two years old, and he is traveling to Asia where he is dealing with work of art. As you must say: Faust of second Faust, genius engineer after having been the immense poet, alive student of Mephistopheles and owner of this blonde Marguerite!
It was said several times that he was dead. We are unaware of that detail, but we would be very sad if it was so. For him to know that if it was not the case. Because we were his friend and we remain it from a distance.
Two other manuscripts in prose and some new verse will be published in their time.
A new portrait by Forain, who also knew Mr. Rimbaud, will appear when necessary.
In a very beautiful painting by Fantin-Latour, Corner of table, currently in Manchester we think, there is a portrait in bust of Mr. Rimbaud at the age of sixteen.
Illuminations date from slightly later.
- Notice translated by Catherine. All Rights Reserved.
- Poems as translated by Louise Varese, and first published in 1946.
Index of poems
- After the Flood
- A Tale
- Being Beauteous
- To a Reason
- Morning of Drunkenness
- The Bridges
- Cities [II]
- Cities [I]
- Common Nocturne
- Winter Festival
- Clearance Sale
- Historical Evening