The Illuminations

Arthur Rimbaud (Author) Keith Miller (Translator)


"As soon as the idea of the Flood subsided, A hare stopped in the clover and swinging flowerbells and said his prayer to the rainbow through the spider's web . . ." Arthur Rimbaud's short career as a poet came to a fiery close with The Illuminations. Innovative in their juxtaposition of images and exploration of language, the poems have inspired generations of poets. They retain their avant-garde flavor more than a century after they were first published. Five years in the making, this new translation by Keith Miller transmits the vitality and freshness of Rimbaud's voice while preserving fidelity to the originals. This dual-language edition allows readers to compare the translation with the original.

Product Details

Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publish Date
July 01, 2009
5.25 X 0.27 X 8.0 inches | 0.3 pounds
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About the Author

Arthur Rimbaud was born in Charleville, France, in 1854. He left home at the age of 14 and joined a group of writers and artists in Paris, among them Paul Verlaine. Verlaine and Rimbaud became lovers and moved to London. In 1873, Verlaine shot and wounded Rimbaud, and their affair ended. At 21, Rimbaud abandoned poetry, setting off on adventures that would take him to Egypt, Cyprus, Yemen, and Ethiopia. He died in 1891.


More than a century after Arthur Rimbaud composed hisIlluminations, they are reborn in John Ashbery's magnificenttranslation. It is fitting that the major American poet since HartCrane and Wallace Stevens should give us this noble version of theprecursor of all three.--Harold Bloom
This is the book that made poetry modern, and John Ashbery's sizzling new translation lets Rimbaud's eerie grandeur burst into English. Finally we have the key to open the door onto these magic Illuminations, and all their 'elegance, knowledge, violence!' This is an essential volume, a true classic.--J. D. McClatchy
To translate from one language into another is to risk losing the force, the soul, of the original. But not in this instance of John Ashberry's splendid version of Rimbaud's Illuminations. "Wise music is missing from our desire," he writes in his English version of the last line of "Conte" ("Tale"), losing neither the substance nor the truth of Rimbaud's great poetry.--Paula Fox, author of Desperate Characters
A marriage divine.--Joy Williams, author of "State of Grace"