A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
I will tell some day of your latent births:
A, hairy black corset of blazing flies that buzz
around fetid, cruel smells,

Engulfed in shadow; E, whiteness of vapours and tents,
Lances of haughty glaciers, white kings, shivers of umbels;
I, purples, spat blood, laugh of lips beautiful
With anger or the drunkenness of penitents.

U, pulses, divine shimmerings of viridian seas,
Peace of pastures scattered with animals, peace of wrinkles
Alchemically imprinted on vast studious brows;

O, supreme war Trumpet full of weird shrill noises,
Silences traversed by Worlds and Angels:
– O the Omega, the violet ray of His Eyes.

John Kinsella translates Arthur Rimbaud’s Voyelles



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