“The Wolf Howls” by Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud was a visionary French poet who wrote all his startlingly original verse as a teenager. After the age of 20, he abandoned creative writing. He died shortly after his 37th birthday.

The wolf howls beneath the leaves
Spitting up the gorgeous plumes
Of the fowl on which he feasts:
Like him, I too consume.

Vegetables, fruits
Awaiting the harvest;
Yet the spider in the bush
Eats nothing but violets.

Let me sleep! Let me boil
On the altars of Solomon.
The broth runs over the rust
And flows into the Kidron.

—Translated by David Bowles
March 14, 2014

Le loup criait sous les feuilles
En crachant les belles plumes
De son repas de volailles :
Comme lui je me consume.

Les salades, les fruits
N’attendent que la cueillette ;
Mais l’araignée de la haie
Ne mange que des violettes.

Que je dorme ! que je bouille
Aux autels de Salomon.
Le bouillon court sur la rouille,
Et se mêle au Cédron.

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