Art Rimbaud Project: Lyrics

Formes D'amour
Vocals: Aline Verney | Music: Martin Diehl, Roland Scheidel]

[Scroll down for an English translation of Arthur Rimbaud's original poem.]

Formes d'amour!

De souffrance, de folie.
(Souffrance, de folie,...)

De souffrance, de folie.
(Souffrance, de folie,...)

Lettre Du Voyant ("Seer-Letter")

To Paul Demeny
Charleville, 15 May 1871

(...) For I is someone else. If brass wakes up a trumpet, it is not its fault. This is obvious to me: I am present at this birth of my thought: I watch it and listen to it: I draw a stroke of the bow: the symphony makes its stir in the depths, or comes on to the stage in a leap.

If old imbeciles had not discovered only the false meaning of the Ego, we would not have to sweep away those millions of skeletons which, for times immemorial, have accumulated the results of their one-eyed intellects by claiming to be the authors!

(...) The first study of the man who wants to be a poet is the knowledge of himself, complete. He looks for his soul, inspects it, tests it, learns it. As soon as he knows it, he must cultivate it! It seems simple: in every mind a natural development takes place; so many egoists call themselves authors, there are many others who attribute their intellectual progress to themselves! - But the soul must be made monstrous: in the fashion of the comprachicos*, if you will! Imagine a man implanting and cultivating warts on his face.

I say one must be a seer, make oneself a seer.

The Poet makes himself a seer by a long, gigantic and rational derangement of all the senses. All forms of love, suffering, and madness. He searches himself. He exhausts all poisons in himself and keeps only their quintessences. Unspeakable torture where he needs all his faith, all his super-human strength, where he becomes among all men the great patient, the great criminal, the one accursed - and the supreme scholar! - because he reaches the unknown! Since he cultivated his soul, rich already, more than any man! He reaches the unknown, and when, bewildered, he ends by losing the intelligence of his visions, he has seen them. Let him die as he leaps through unheard of and unnamable things: other horrible workers will come; they will begin from the horizons where the other collapsed!

*Comprachicos: "Child-buyers." A nomadic association of 17th century Spain which traded in children, mutilated them and exhibited them as "monsters" in circus shows.

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