Une Saison en Enfer

Just for fun, I'm re-reading Wallace Fowlie's translation of "Une saison en enfer". Instead of just plain old re-reading, I'm actually taking the little fat spiral notebook my mom put in my stocking (Yes! I am 32 years old and I still get a Christmas stocking from my mother! I love her stocking stuffers!) and writing it out by hand in the book. Why? I've mentioned before that this is a favorite way for me to experience a poem. I might not even be paying much attention to what I'm writing--for instance last night in a jarring juxtaposition, I watched BBC's "Pride and Prejudice" on my laptop as I re-wrote the translation--but I like that "background" way of doing it. And when I re-read it in my own hand later, it helps me absorb it better, more fully. It will give me something to do on my flight to New Orleans, which leaves in 45 hours. Not that I'm counting down the minutes until I can escape the brown-snow-piled, icy, windy, freezing cold Boston-area or anything...

I'm also going to do a "montage/collage" project with the Paul Schmidt translation. (Available at this website: http://www.mag4.net/Rimbaud/poesies/Season.html don't forget to check out the .GIF titles at the top. Flaming Words!!) I have a copy of his translation on one side of a Word document and blank paper on the other. I don't know exactly what will go there, but I want to play with "experience" of a poem and somehow illustrating that. We'll see.

The bottom line is, I can never get enough Rimbaud in my life. He was my first Dead Gay Poet Love. You know, during my Bad Boy phase, back in my 20s. The thing that attracts me the most is the scathing commentary on middle class suburban Catholic life. When I read of his depcition of Charville in the late 1800s in the long poem "First Communions" and other parts of Fowlie's "Complete Works, Selected Letters", I couldn't help but think of Weymouth in the late 1900s. Banal, complacent, anti-intellectual and -artistic, so very steadfast and intent on its banality, too. Perhaps I'm too harsh, but it doesn't feel that way, even 15 years after graduating from high school...It hadn't seemed to get any better the year and a half I was there in 2006-08. Rimbaud helps me process my resentment for my hometown. Tee-hee...

Popular Posts