Saturday, March 26, 2005

translating

Democracy

"The flag passes through foul country and our lingo muffles the drum beats.

"In the centres we’ll feed the most cynical prostitution. We’ll massacre any reasonable revolt.

"To the spicy, damp countries! in the service of monstrous exploitation, industrial and military.

"Goodbye here or anywhere. We’re willing conscripts. Our ideas are savage. Ignoramuses about science, we’re sluts for comfort. Stuff the world. This is real progress. Onward, let’s hit the road!"

- Arthur Rimbaud, from Illuminations - translated by Jill Jones


This might be the beginning of a slow project, translating Rimbaud's Illuminations.

I found a sale copy of a new Penguin translation of Rimbaud just this week, and lately had been given Graham Robb's biography of Rimbaud. I have other translations on the bookshelves.

So why add to it all? Well, why not? This poem seemed like a good place to start.

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