A New Translation of Rimbaud’s Illuminations: II

The New Yorker‘s print issue of February 7, 2011 contains another of poet John Ashbery’s translations (“Cities”) from the forthcoming W.W. Norton edition of Arthur Rimbaud’s Illuminations (see my previous post for an earlier appearance of a translation). The publication date looks like it has now been pushed back to May.

Surrealism is strongly anticipated in Illuminations, and this poem is definitely no exception with its “quays weighted with giant candelabra” and “arctic beverages” (Louise Varèse—always my preference for Rimbaud translator—renders it as “polar drinks”).

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