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A Season In Hell

ISBN: 9780146001659
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 1996-08-01
Number of pages: 64
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DELIRIUM II ALCHEMY OF THE WORD My turn: the story of my foolishness. For ages I boasted of possessing all possible landscapes, and found the celebrities of modern painting and poetry absurd. I loved idiotic pictures, painted panels, stage sets, backdrops, hotel signs, popular prints; unfashionable literature, church Latin, erotic books with poor spelling, bygone novels, fairy tales, little books for children, old operas, inane refrains, syncopated rhythms. I dreamt of crusades, unrecorded voyages of discovery, republics without histories, wars of suppressed religion, moral revolutions, movements of races and continents: I believed in every enchantment. I invented the color of vowels! A black, E white, I red, O blue, U green. – I regulated the form and motion of every consonant, and, with instinctive rhythms, I flattered myself I’d created a poetic language, accessible some day to all the senses. I reserved the translation rights. It was academic at first. I wrote of silences, nights, I made note of the inexpressible. I fixated on frenzies... Far from the flocks of birds and village girls, On my knees, what did I drink in the heather? Surrounded by a tender grove of trees, In a green mist, what did I drink on that warm afternoon? What could I be drinking? Voiceless trees, flowerless turf, an ominous sky – From yellow gourds, far from my hut, I perspired as I drank golden liquors. My silhouette was like a dubious sign for a strange hotel – A storm blew in. That evening, the wind of God Brought ice to the pond: – I could no longer drink: I saw gold, I wept! The old poetry played a part in my alchemy of the word. I became accustomed to pure hallucination: I saw quite clearly a mosque instead of a factory, a school of drummers led by angels, carriages on the highway of the sky, a salon in the depths of a lake; monsters, mysteries; a performance, a skit, conjured up horrors before me. Then I explained my magical sophisms with hallucinatory words! I ended by treating my mental disorder as sacred. I was idle, prey to a heavy fever: I envied the happiness of beasts – caterpillars: that represent Limbo’s innocence, moles: the sleep of virginity! My character was embittered. I said farewell to the world in song: SONG OF THE HIGHEST TOWER May it come, the time of love, The time we would be enamored of. I've been patient so long I have forgotten All fears and suffering They've flown up into skies. My veins burst, I thirst. May it come, the time of love, The time we would be enamored of. So the meadow Freed by neglect, Flowered, overgrown With weeds and incense, To the buzz nearby Of foul flies. May it come, the time of love, The time we would be enamored of.

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