Poem by Rimbaud and Verlaine
An irreverential collaborative poem
Verlaine had kept his homoerotic leanings under wrap, and was leading what appeared to be a typical bourgeois family life with his wife Mathilde and their child, until he invited the seventeen-year old Rimbaud to his home in Paris. The explosion of the passion between them was uncontainable. Verlaine left wife and child, and fled to Bruxelles with the younger poet. The relationship between them was quite stormy, fuelled by drugs and alcohol, and after a bitter quarrel, the older man shot his young lover, wounding him only slightly. They separated shortly after, never to meet again, living unhappily ever after. But in the heat of their passion, they collaborated on what was then called a scandalous piece of verse.
L’Idole, Sonnet du Trou du Cul
Obscur et froncé comme un oeillet violet
Il respire, humblement tapi parmi la mousse
Humide encor d’amour qui suit la fuite douce
Des Fesses blanches jusqu’au coeur de son ourlet.
Des filaments pareils à des larmes de lait
Ont pleuré, sous le vent cruel qui les repousse,
À travers de petits caillots de marne rousse
Pour s’aller perdre où la pente les appelait.
Mon Rêve s’aboucha souvent à sa ventouse ;
Mon âme, du coït matériel jalouse,
En fit son larmier fauve et son nid de sanglots.
C’est l’olive pâmée, et la flûte caline,
C’est le tube où descend la céleste praline :
Chanaan féminin dans les moiteurs enclos !
My English translation
The idol, the anus sonnet
Dark and crinkled like a violet carnation
It’s breathing in a moss this hidden gem
Still moist after love and its gentle evasion
From white buttocks to the heart of its hem
Filaments looking like milk teardrops
Shed by the cruel explosion pushing
Through little brown clots of slops
Before losing itself down, the slope beckoning
My dream is to fill his vacuum with my sputum
My soul, jealous of coital penetration
Turned it into a wild store of lacrimation
It’s the fainting olive and the flute conniving
The hole down which goes the divine lollipop
Female Chanaan in its moist backdrop