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First Evening

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First Evening (Première Soirée)
by Arthur Rimbaud

Her clothes were almost off;
Outside, a curious tree
Beat a branch at the window
To see what it could see.

Perched on my enormous easy chair,
Half nude, she clasped her hands.
Her feet trembled on the floor,
As soft as they could be.

I watched as a ray of pale light,
Trapped in the tree outside,
Danced from her mouth
To her breast, like a fly on a flower.

I kissed her delicate ankles.
She had a soft, brusque laugh
That broke into shining crystals -
A pretty little laugh.

Her feet ducked under her chemise;
'Will you please stop it!…'
But I laughed at her cries -
I knew she really liked it.

Her eye trembled beneath my lips;
They closed at my touch.
Her head went back; she cried:
'Oh, really! That's too much!

'My dear, I'm warning you…'
I stopped her protest with a kiss
And she laughed, low -
A laugh that wanted more than this…

Her clothes were almost off;
Outside, a curious tree
Beat a branch at the window
To see what it could see.

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What I like about Rimbaud at this age is probably reading him when I was his age. My librarian clandestinely gave me access to everything I wanted, she trusted my journey. What I find in Rimbaud here is a remembrance of the fodder of future memory described as current. The energy, the oversensitivity caused by a light feathertouch over the shoulder to the neck. That anticipatioin of living for this single moment is high poetry to me. I don't feel poetry needs to constantly deal with the dire. There is also poetry that celebrates life. Rimbaud was the first I found to do so. I get goose pimples tying his poetry to my own life. I hope you all enjoy this frivolous little poem about a boy and a girl exploring the illuminated mysteries of each other. Poetry can be about Death, but certainly it can also project LIFE.

Ron

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 

Comments

BlueDemon77

"I like you"
lush lips reflecting red candle
relaxed, smiled, scanned her in slight squint
as japanese, bookish look, shy, surprised by
her spectral approach, a lilac eddy of displaced air
barely there shining in bar darkness
thin fingers touching my hand
felt in four places, a nod says
come with me, knees touch pleased
disconcerting smile lioness press on palm
let this play her way back pressed kiss in the doorway
pulling button pops rapid breaths rapid stomach taut
control rivers mouths press quivers
thunder dew staccato
one from two
"I like you"
askew
on ground
"I like you too"
pressure in hand
quick kiss and gone
suddenly stand
card in hand
Kazumi Iwasi
call me
my grin
body says ok
mind says
"we'll see"
smilingly

Blue Demon77

"What I want is to be what I was before the knife,
before the brooch pin, before the salve, fixed me in this parenthesis:
Horses fluent in the wind. A place, a time gone out of mind."

The Eye Mote-Sylvia Plath

author comment

I have long been a fan of Rimbaud, especially as I was introduced to his dramatic, hormone fueled poem The Drunken Boat- a passionate young man throwing forth his all... A friend of mine regularly acted it accompanied by a one armed saxophone player and a drunk, perpetually pissed off drummer. It was wonderful fun. Then all the artists got in on the act and all painted parts of the journey, and someone found an old clinker built boat and so on. Anyway I started reading his poetry in English translation because my French couldn't do it. I think he is acquired taste. I like the one you've chosen, it has joy in it and mischief, and lovely young male arrogance, that freshness of youth thing. Like all translations, I guess you have to hope or have enough language to understand if the translation is faithful.

Jenifer

I love most of his work, perhaps because I read him first at about the age he was writing. I didn't expect many replies, knowing that often on NEO somber or ultra serious rule the fray. Perhaps it should be this way but I get a genuine jolt from reading Rimbaud's poetry. He wrote like he wasn't aware of death and I can think of nothing more life affirming than that.

Ron

Blue Demon77

"What I want is to be what I was before the knife,
before the brooch pin, before the salve, fixed me in this parenthesis:
Horses fluent in the wind. A place, a time gone out of mind."

The Eye Mote-Sylvia Plath

author comment

beneath the elms
while the ocean seething blue swam

I write sombre and I have not read Rimbaud
this is the first work I remember reading
although earlier in Neo of old this writer
got posted..Its an excellent poem to lighten
any broadcast grey away
and idle thoughts of warmth to stay

eclectic with excitement

Thanks Ron for posting this!!

This was the poetry that said to me, this is yours, take it forward, advance it but keep the joy, the reverence or irreverence, but above all the magnesium glow that is life in action. Thanks Esker, this means a lot to me.

Ron

Blue Demon77

"What I want is to be what I was before the knife,
before the brooch pin, before the salve, fixed me in this parenthesis:
Horses fluent in the wind. A place, a time gone out of mind."

The Eye Mote-Sylvia Plath

author comment

This isn't anything about rape culture unless one has the belief that teasing and extended foreplay equates to rape. I've seen what has happened in recent years in the relation of men and women's education. The whole "ask at each stage" approach. I feel that is akin to wringing all the passion out of sexuality. There is a subtle game that goes with it that is far removed from forced sexuality and adds a wonderful playful facet. This is what Rimbaud is describing. I respect you greatly Beau, but in my undergrad work, I had a friend who minored in women's studies. We weren't sexually involved, but one night she stayed at my apartment in my Queen size waterbed (says something of the era), and she said that all men are potential rapists. She's laying, snuggling with me in a bra and panties and telling me I'm a potential rapist. So I walked her home and avoided her as much as possible since. I can see how you can come to your conclusion, but there is a far gap between what Rimbaud describes and what you are seeing. It's a game shared by two and is a part of the intimacy. A key to telling which is which is the gentleness. I've been closer to rape situations when confronted by eager women, though I guess I was not completely against the idea of the sex or I would have stopped it.

I think you'll know what I mean. The current thought almost suggests that women need to be overly protected from their own sexuality. Forcing someone physically to have sex is somehow compared to a man making a first move. I disagree. I've met women that I can't keep up with, women that suggested things that pushed my barriers. I do think someday you will see the difference between Rimbaud's playfulness and rape culture. Rape culture is about power, Rimbaud is talking about mutual playfulness.

By the way, the women's studies major that told me I was a potential rapist simply because I have certain genitalia, asked me a year and a half later, why I didn't try to be with her that night.

This is not "you know she wants it", This is not "she was asking for it". This is recognition of a fellow human being and knowledge of the sometimes subtle way sexual attraction is put forth to stave off rejection.

Ron

Blue Demon77

"What I want is to be what I was before the knife,
before the brooch pin, before the salve, fixed me in this parenthesis:
Horses fluent in the wind. A place, a time gone out of mind."

The Eye Mote-Sylvia Plath

author comment

I think this has uncovered an aspect of poetry which is not too often discussed. All poetry is interpreted by a reader based on his/her own life experiences. I can see how this playful poem could be taken the way Beau has interpreted it . But I also don't think the author intended to even hint at abuse. ......................stan

that this was written in the spirit of playfulness and not with the intent of portraying any violent type of sex or abuse. For example: I'm sure that there is at least one instance that you have heard the phrase; " There were cries of delight?" ~ Gee

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For some religious believes i don't feel like commenting on this poem. Just wanted you to know i am not against your choice.Appriciate your understanding sir!

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

I think this poem does well in capturing the playfullness often displayed by those in love. And a voyeur tree really sets it off................stan

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