Novel by Arthur Rimbaud
You’re not serious, at seventeen.
– A fine evening, beer glasses and lemonade
Rowdy cafes lit with brilliant chandeliers!
– You stroll beneath the lime trees along the promenade.
How good the lime trees smell on fine June evenings!
Sometimes the air is so sweet, you close your eyes
The wind, full of sounds – the town not far —
Fragrant with wine and beer. …
Then you see a small cloth
Of dark blue, framed by a twig
Pierced by an unlucky star, which melts
With mild shivers, small and white …
June night! Seventeen ! You let yourself get drunk
The sap is champagne and goes straight to your head …
You wander, you feel a kiss on the lips
Quivering there like a little animal …
The mad heart RobinsonCrusoes across novels
Where in the pale light of a lamp,
Passes a girl with her charming airs,
Beneath the shadow of her father’s terrifying collar …
And as she finds you immensely naïve
While trotting in her little boots
She turns, alert with a quick movement …
And on your lips cavatinas die …
You’re in love. Rented until August.
You’re in love. – Your sonnets make her laugh.
All your friends leave, you’re in bad taste.
Then one night your beloved…has deigned to write … ! !
That evening, … -You enter vibrant cafes,
You ask for beer or lemonade …
You’re not serious, at seventeen
And there are green lime trees on the promenade.
This poem was selected and translated from the French by Lesley W. (Reference Librarian)