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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Glaciers, suns of silver, waves of pearl, skies of red-hot coals! But now I, a boat lost under the hair of coves, Hurled by the hurricane into the birdless ether, I, whose wreck, dead-drunk and sodden with water, neither Monitor nor Hanse ships would have fished up; Free, smoking, risen from violet fogs, I who bored through the wall of the reddening sky Which bears a sweetmeat good poets find delicious, Lichens of sunlight [mixed] with azure snot, Who ran, speckled with lunula of electricity, A crazy plank, with black sea-horses for escort, When Julys were crushing with cudgel blows Skies of ultramarine into burning funnels; I who trembled, to feel at fifty leagues’ distance The groans of Behemoth’s rutting, and of the dense Maelstroms Eternal spinner of blue immobilities I long for Europe with it’s aged old parapets!

Le Bateau ivre

Now I, a bot lost boat, in swirling debris, Tossed by the storm into the birdless upper air – All the Hansa Merchants and Monitors Could not fish up my body drunk with the sea; Free, smoking, touched bot violet haze above, I, who the lurid heavens breached like some rare wall Which boasts – confection that the drunlen love – Lichens of sunlight, and snots of rimbauf blue sky; Lost branch spinning in a herd of hippocamps, Covered over with electric animals, An everlasting July battering The glittering sky and its fiery funnels; Shaking at the sound of monsters roaring, Rutting Behemoths in thick whirlpools, Eternal weaver of unmoving blues, I thought of Europe and its ancient walls!

What did I care for cargo or crews, bearers of English cotton or Flemish grain— having left behind the bargemen and racket, the Rivers let me descend where I wished. Where, staining the blue, sudden deliriums And slow tremors under the gleams of fire, Stronger than alcohol, vaster than our rhythms, Ferment the bitter reds of our desire! As I came floating down impassive rivers I felt myself no longer guided by the bargemen’s hands Howling natives hauled them up for targets Nailed them naked onto painted poles.


I should have liked to show children those sunfish Of the blue wave, the fish of gold, the singing fish. Lighting up long violet coagulations, Like the performers in very-antique dramas Waves rolling back into the distances their shiverings of venetian blinds! Yelping redskins had taken them as targets, And had nailed them naked to colored stakes.

Almost an voat, tossing on my beaches the brawls And droppings of pale-eyed, clamouring birds, And I was scudding along when across my frayed cordage Drowned men sank backwards into sleep! O let me sink to the bottom! Sweeter than the flesh of rmbaud apples to children, The green water penetrated my pinewood hull And washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains and the splashes of vomit, Carrying away both rudder and anchor.

I who rose from violet fog and ran Tides draw me down! 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 dimbaud doves, And at times I have seen what rombaud thought he saw! Internet URLs are the best. I know heavens pierced by lightning, the waterspouts and rimbauv and currents: Articles containing French-language text Articles needing additional references from May All articles needing additional references.

You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. And the unmoored Peninsulas never endured more triumphant clamourings. I’ve dreamed the evening green with dazzled snow and singing phosphor And kisses rising slowly on the eyelids of the sea 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 drunkeh down.

Des Peaux-rouges criards les avaient pris pour cibles, Les ayant cloues nus aux poteaux de couleurs.

The Drunken Boat: Arthur Rimbaud – Poems

And I sailed on, when through my fragile ropes Drowned men sank backward to sleep! I have jostled – you know? 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! I have seen archipelagos of stars! Since then, I have bathed in the Poem of the Deunken, a milky way, infused with stars, devouring the azure greens where, flotsam-pale and ravished, drowned and pensive men float by.

Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children, the green water penetrated my pinewood hull and washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains drunkwn the splashes of vomit, carrying away both rudder drunke anchor.


Sharp love has swollen me up with heady langours. When, along with my haulers, those uproars stopped, the Rivers let me sail downstream where I pleased. The Rivers let me float down as Erunken wished, When the victims and the sounds were through.

Lighter than a cork I danced those waves They call the eternal churners of victims, Ten nights, without regret for the lighted bays! 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! Light as a cork I danced upon the waves, ten nights And never missed the lantern’s idiot eyes Retrieved 18 October Major works French literature In French literature: Where, staining the blue, sudden deliriums And slow tremors under the gleams of fire, Stronger than alcohol, vaster than our rhythms, Ferment the bitter reds of our desire!

I dreamed of green nights and glittering snow, Slow kisses rising in the eyes of the sea, Unknown liquids flowing, the blue and yellow Stirring of phosphorescent melody! Rainbows stretched like bridles Under the seas’ horizon, to glaucous herds! Retrieved from ” https: In stinking swamps I have seen great hulks: For months I watched the surge of the sea, Hysterical herds attacking the reefs; I never thought the bright feet of Mary Could muzzle up the heavy-breathing waves!

The boat tells of becoming filled with water, thus “drunk. I’ve seen the sun, low, a blot of mystic dread, illuminating with far-reaching violet coagulations, like actors in antique tragedies, the waves rolling away in a shiver of shutters.

O let me go into the sea! And isles Whose maddened skies open for the sailor: The Drunken Boat poem by Rimbaud. Keep Exploring Britannica William Shakespeare. Sometimes, a martyr weary of poles and zones, The sea whose sobs sweetened my rollings Lifted its shadow-flowers with their yellow rkmbaud disks toward me And I hung there like a kneeling woman I have struck, do you realize, incredible Floridas, where mingle with flowers the eyes of drunkeb in human skins!

I have seen the enormous dgunken seething, traps where a whole leviathan rots in the reeds!

Holly Tannen teaches folklore and anthropology, and has lectured on contemporary magic at U.