Saturday, October 20, 2012

A #poem for #adjuncts: Waifs and Strays by Arthur Rimbaud

#PAD/s usually go to plog (short for poetry blog) & @PWPicnic…this one seemed somehow so right for here. Alors, sont-nous aussi les enfants de la rue dans notre malchance d'être ainsi abandonnés? More later on the serious stuff of actions, news, events, reminders, conferences (not to be confused with action), links, petitions and such.


Waifs and Strays
translated by Jethro Bithell
Black in the fog and in the snow,
Where the great air-hole windows glow,
With rounded rumps,

Upon their knees five urchins squat,
Looking down where the baker, hot,
The thick dough thumps.

They watch his white arm turn the bread,
Ere through an opening flaming red
The loaf he flings.

They hear the good bread baking, while
The chubby baker with a smile
An old tune sings.

Breathing the warmth into their soul,
They squat around the red air-hole,
As a breast warm.

And when, for feasters' midnight bout,
The ready bread is taken out,
In a cake's form;

And while beneath the blackened beams,
Sings every crust of golden gleams,
While the cricket brags,

The hole breathes warmth into the night,
And into them life and delight,
Under their rags,

And the urchins covered with hoar-frost,
On billows of enchantment tossed
Their little souls,

Glue to the grate their little rosy
Noses, singing through the cosy
Glowing holes,

But with low voices like a prayer,
Bending down to the light down there,
Where heaven gleams.

--So eager that they burst their breeches,
And in the winter wind that screeches
Their linen streams.

Read "Les Effarés"in original French + explication

Today's poem is in the public domain.

About this poem:
"Waifs and Strays" is a translation of Rimbaud's "Les Effarés." Arthur Rimbaud was born October 20, 1854. Today is his birthday.

Poetry by Arthur Rimbaud

translated by Wyatt Mason
October 20, 2012
Arthur Rimbaud
A volatile and peripatetic poet, the prodigy Arthur Rimbaud wrote all of his poetry in a space of less than five years. 
Also by Rimbaud
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Poem-A-Day started as a National Poetry Month program in 2006, delivering daily poems from newly-published poetry titles.
Due to popular demand, Poem-A-Day became a year-round program in 2010, featuring original, never-before-published poems by contemporary poets on weekdays, and classic poems on weekends.
Browse the Poem-A-Day archive for selections since 2010. 

Academy of American Poets | 75 Maiden Lane | Suite 901 | New York | NY | 10038

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