Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry


 
 
 

Happiness, By Arthur Rimbaud
           
     Translation by Eli Siegel 

O seasons, O castles,
What mind is without lack?

I have taken part in the magic study
Of happiness, a study no one can keep from.

Salute to it, each time
The French cock crows.

Ah, I want no more irritating againstness:
It has burdened my life.

That charm has taken self and body
And scatters energy.

O seasons, O castles.

The hour of flight, alas,
Will be the hour of surrender in death.

O seasons, O castles.



From THE POEMS LOOKED AT: or, NOTES

Happiness, By Arthur Rimbaud. 1958. It is good to have Rimbaud tell us that the going after happiness is as inevitable for a person as being affected by gravity is for a solid object. The light and the heavy are in seasons and castles, time and edifices. And Rimbaud tells us happiness is a magic study, but we have to give ourselves to it. — As a cock in France crows, you can hail energy in any living being concerned with happiness. Something in us can, irritatingly to self, use self-importance against happiness; but this is a burden. Self-importance can seem to be a charm, but it scatters the energy of self and body. — Again, we must put together the non-weighing seasons and the weighing castles — though both seasons and castles have shape of a kind.—When one definitely goes away from happiness — the hour of flight — death will be yielded to. — Therefore, again, O seasons — O time as visible; and O castles — O weight as white and distant.


From Hail, American Development (Definition Press)
© 1968 by Eli Siegel


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