‘Romance,’ a poem by Arthur Rimbaud, read by RM.
When you are seventeen you aren’t really serious.
- One fine evening, you’ve had enough of beer and lemonade,
And the rowdy cafes with their dazzling lights!
- You go walking beneath the green lime trees of the promenade.
The lime trees smell good on fine evenings in June!
The air is so soft sometimes, you close your eyelids;
The wind, full of sounds, - the town’s not far away -
Carries odours of vines, and odours of beer…
- Then you see a very tiny rag
Of dark blue, framed by a small branch,
Pierced by an unlucky star which is melting away
With soft little shivers, small, perfectly white…
June night! Seventeen! - You let yourself get drunk.
The sap is champagne and goes straight to your head…
You are wandering; you feel a kiss on your lips
Which quivers there like something small and alive…
Your mad heart goes Crusoeing through all the romances,
- When, under the light of a pale street lamp,
Passes a young girl with charming little airs,
In the shadow of her father’s terrifying stiff collar…
And because you strike her as absurdly naif,
As she trots along in her little ankle boots,
She turns, wide awake, with a brisk movement…
And thencavatinasdie on your lips…
You’re in love. Taken until the month of August.
You’re in love - Your sonnets make Her laugh.
All your friends disappear, you are not quite the thing.
- Then your adored one, one evening, condescends to write to you…!
That evening,… - you go back again to the dazzling cafes,
You ask for beer or for lemonade…
- You are not really serious when you are seventeen
And there are green lime trees on the promenade…