Ophelie - Arthur Rimbaud

Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud - Ophelie Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was born in Charleville at October 20 of 1854; he was one of the greatest French poets. He began to write his first verses when he had 15 years old and let the literature when he had 20 years old. He thought that poet had to be seer through a large, immense and rational disorder in all senses.

In 1870, his first poem, Les Étrennes des orphelins ("The Orphans' New Year's Gift"), was published in Revue pour tous. In May of 1870, he wrote a letter to Théodore de Banville, Parnassianism top leader, talking about his longings of becoming a Parnassian. In September of 1871, he moved to Paris and had a great welcome by the great literary figures; but he began to live a dissolute life that gave many problems to him. In 1874, he decided to leave the literature and began a new life of work. He died in Marseilles at November 10 of 1891.

Poems in french

Ophelie

I

Sur l'onde calme et noire où dorment les étoiles
La blanche Ophélia flotte comme un grand lys,
Flotte très lentement, couchée en ses longs voiles...
-- On entend dans les bois lointains des hallalis.

Voici plus de mille ans que la triste Ophélie
Passe, fantôme blanc, sur le long fleuve noir;
Voici plus de mille ans que sa douce folie
Murmure sa romance à la brise du soir.

Le vent baise ses seins et déploie en corolle
Ses grands voiles bercés mollement par les eaux;
Les saules frissonnants pleurent sur son épaule,
Sur son grand front rêveur s'inclinent les roseaux.

Les nénuphars froissés soupirent autour d'elle;
Elle éveille parfois, dans un aune qui dort,
Quelque nid, d'où s'échappe un petit frisson d'aile:
-- Un chant mystérieux tombe des astres d'or.

II

ô pale Ophélia! belle comme la neige!
Oui tu mourus, enfant, par un fleuve emporté!
-- C'est que les vents tombant des grands monts de Norvège
T'avaient parlé tout bas de l'âpre liberté;

C'est qu'un souffle, tordant ta grande chevelure,
A ton esprit rêveur portait d'étranges bruits;
Que ton coeur écoutait le chant de la nature
Dans les plaintes de l'arbre et les soupirs des nuits;

C'est que la voix des mers folles, immense râle,
Brisait ton sein d'enfant, trop humain et trop doux;
C'est qu'un matin d'avril, un beau cavalier pâle,
Un pauvre fou, s'assit muet à tes genoux!

Ciel! Amour! Liberté! Quel rêve, ô pauvre folle!
Tu te fondais à lui comme une neige au feu:
Tes grandes visions étranglaient ta parole
-- Et l'infini terrible effara ton oeil bleu !

III

-- Et le poète dit qu'aux rayons des étoiles
Tu viens chercher, la nuit, les fleurs que tu cueillis,
Et qu'il a vu sur l'eau, couchée en ses longs voiles,
La blanche Ophélia flotter, comme un grand lys.

Arthur Rimbaud

Ophelie

I

On the calm black wave where the stars cradle
white and candid, Ophelia floats like a great lily.
Floats very slowly, lying in her long veils…
--Far off in the woods there are hunters' calls.

more than a thousand years that pale Ophelia
passes, a white phantom, on the long black river;
More than a thousand years that her gentle craziness
murmurs her romantic story to the evening breeze.

The wind kisses her breasts and arranges her veils,
cradled softly by the waves, in a halo around her;
the shivering willows weep on her shoulder,
the reeds bend above her wide dreaming forehead.

The rumpled lotuses sigh around her;
she awakes sometimes, in a sleeping alder,
some nest from which a little shiver of wing escapes:
--a mysterious chant falls from the golden stars.

II

O pale Ophelia! beautiful as snow!
Yes you died, child, carried away by a river!
--It's that the winds coming down from the mountains of Norway
talked to you quietly of bitter freedom;

it's that a gust, twisting your long hair,
carried strange sounds to your dreaming mind;
your heart heard the singing of nature
in the wails of the tree and the sighs of the nights;

It's that the voice of the crazy seas, immense groan,
broke your child's breast, too human and too sweet;
it's that one morning in April, a handsome pale cavalier,
a poor fool, sat mute at your knees!

Heaven! Love! Freedom! What a dream, O foolish girl!
You melted into him like a snow in the fire:
Your great visions strangled your words
--and terrible infinity appalled your blue eye!

III

--And the poet says that by starlight
you come looking at night for the flowers you gather,
and that he saw on the water, lying in her long veils,
the white Ophelia floating like a great lily.

Arthur Rimbaud




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