Tuesday Poem

Vagabonds by ARTHUR RIMBAUD

TRANSLATED BY REYNOLDS PRICE

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).

from Poetry Foundation

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