The Stolen Heart


From the series Arthur Rimbaud in New York, David Wojnarowicz, 1978-79

 

LE CŒR VOLÉ

Mon triste cœur bave à la poupe,
Mon cœur couvert de caporal :
Ils y lancent des jets de soupe
Mon triste coeur bave à la poupe :
Sous les quolibets de la troupe
Qui pousse un rire général,
Mon triste coeur bave à la poupe,
Mon coeur couvert de caporal.

Ithyphalliques et pioupiesques
Leurs quolibets l’ont dépravé.
Au gouvernail, on voit des fresques
Ithyphalliques et pioupiesques.
O flots abracadabrantesques
Prenez mon cœur, qu’il soit lavé.
Ithyphalliques et pioupiesques
Leurs quolibets l’ont dépravé !

Quand ils auront tari leurs chiques
Comment agir, ô cœur volé ?
Ce seront des hoquets bachiques
Quand ils auront tari leurs chiques
J’aurai des sursauts stomachiques
Moi, si mon coeur est ravalé:
Quand ils auront tari leurs chiques,
Comment agir, ô cœur volé ?

Arthur Rimbaud

Mai 1871.

 

_____________________________________

 

My sad heart leaks at the poop,

My heart covered in filthy shag:

They squirt it with jets of soup,

My sad heart leaks at the poop:

Under the jibes of that rough troop

Drowned in laughter, see them rag,

My sad heart leaks at the poop,

My heart covered in filthy shag!

Ithyphallic and coarse, their jests

They’ve corrupted it every way!

On the wheelhouse their grotesques,

Ithyphallic and coarse their jests.

O waves, abracadabrantesque,

Take my heart, wash all away!

Ithyphallic and coarse their jests,

They’ve corrupted it every way!

When they’ve finished chewing their plugs,

What shall we do O stolen heart?

Then Bacchic hiccups from ugly mugs:

When they’ve finished chewing their plugs:

My guts will heave, the filthy lugs,

If it’s swallowed outright, my heart:

When they’ve finished chewing their plugs

What shall we do O stolen heart?

English translation by A. S. Kline

 

In Roberto Bolaño‘s The Savage Detectives the character Ulises Lima claims that this Rimbaud poem is about how Rimbaud was raped.

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