Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Le Dormeur du Val

This poem is Arthur Rimbaud's most famous.
Written at the age of 16, he describes a soldier sleeping in a valley: "trou de verdure" or a hole of greenness
exploding with sunshine and warmth...
Until the last line is read, which unveils the soldier's fate:
"Il a deux trous rouges au cote droit"
Translating into "he has two red holes on his right side"

This poem loses some of its meaning as it is translated from French to English:
The first line describes the valley as a hollow area of green when translated into English.
However, in French, you are able to see the connection between the "hole of green" and the "two red holes" in the soldier's chest.

This poem has an anticipatory element which isn't often seen in poetry.
And Rimbaud was so young to be able to write with such prose.

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