FAREWELL: From A Season In Hell by Arthur Rimbaud.

Autumn already! —-But if we`re seeking divine clarity there`s no point in bemoaning an everlasting sun, far from those who die with the seasons.

   Autumn. Our boat, risen through the moveless fogs, turns towards misery`s port, an enormous city whose sky is stained with fire and mud. Ah………the rotting rags , rain–soaked bread, drunkeness, a thousand crucifying loves! This ghoulish queen will never relent, queen of millions of dead souls and bodies that will be judged! And there I see myself again, skin eaten away by mud and plague, my hair full of worms, my armpits too, and my heart full of fatter worms, just lying there beside ageless, loveless unknowns…….I could have died there…….Unbearable. I hate poverty.

   And I fear winter, the season of comfort!

—Sometimes, I`ll see endless beaches in the skies above, filled with pale rejoicing nations. A great golden vessel, high above me, flutters vari–coloured flags in the morning breeze. I invented every celebration, every victory, every drama.  I tried to invent new flowers, new stars, new flesh, new tongues. I thought I had acquired supernatural powers. Well then! The time has come to bury my imagination and my memories! A fitting end for an artist and a teller of tales!

   Free from all morality, I who call himself magus and angel, surrender to the earth in search of duty, ready to embrace life`s rough road. Peasant!

   Am I wrong? Will charity be a sister of death?

   Finally, I ask forgiveness for feeding on lies. Okay: let`s go.

   And not even one friendly hand! And where can help be found?

Rimbaud is caught between two stools: between the earthly, omnipresent power of “poverty” and the heavenly, eternal world of sun–kissed beaches. He desires the one, but will need to slough his mortal skin to acquire his dream. He tries to come to terms and understand his desire for the one, while resigning himself to his earthly existence. But an ideal state of the imaginative human spirit cannot  be sustained, and so he must reconcile himself to living in the concrete world of reality, hence ………“A fitting end for an artist and teller of tales!”

Whether you see Rimbaud as a genius, or a charlatan; he is searching for something we all seek……..To be at peace within himself; to understand himself, and his place within his world.

“To possess truth in a single body and soul.”


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