VOYELLESVOCALISATIONS
Arthur Rimbaudtrans. Timothy Adès (without using "e")
A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu: voyelles,
Je dirai quelque jour vos naissances latentes:
A, noir corset velu des mouches éclatantes
Qui bombinent autour des puanteurs cruelles,

Golfes d'ombre; E, candeurs des vapeurs et des tentes,
Lances des glaciers, rois blancs, frissons d'ombelles;
I, pourpres, sang craché, rire des lèvres belles
Dans la colère ou les ivresses pénitentes;

U, cycles, vibrements divins des mers virides,
Paix des pâtis semés d'animaux, paix des rides
Que l'alchimie imprime aux grands fronts studieux;

O, suprême clairon plein des strideurs étranges,
Silences traversés des Mondes et des Anges:
- O l'Oméga, rayon violet de Ses Yeux!
A black, (a blank), I blood, U grass, O sky:
I'll bring to light your backgrounds. Wait a bit.
A, smooth black armour of a flashing fly
Buzzing around a vicious stinking pit,

Dark gulfs; (who?), fair camp-canvas, vapour-drips,
Alp-cusps, snow-kings and shaking fumitory;
I, crimsons, spat blood, luscious laughing lips,
Furious, or only drunk with saying sorry:

U, holy rhythms of a Gaian main,
Calm grazing-grounds of cows, calm brows and brain
That witchcraft furrows, mind-span that absorbs;

O, mighty trump, full-blown with wondrous chords,
Still voids for flights of worlds and spirit-birds.
O, big round O, viola-ray, O Orbs!

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. copyright © Timothy Adès 2001 - published in Modern Poetry in Translation, no.8.



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