The Cold Tap Sings

the p-word


I’m knee-deep in Arthur Rimbaud’s Illuminations as I chronologically translate my favourite poems by him. This is one of his best.



by Arthur Rimbaud, translated by Robin Boothroyd

Seen enough. The vision met the eye at every angle.
Had enough. Rumbles, in the city, at dusk, and sunlit, and always.
Known enough. The obstacles of life. ––O Rumbles and Visions!
Departure into newfound soundscapes with renewed tenderness!


Further translations of Rimbaud’s work – including the opening poem from the Illuminations – can be found on my old blog, here.


Not in an art gallery,
where you’d expect,
or in, for example,
a sculpture garden;
but strapped to a lorry
on the M25, southbound,
in the non-place,
the between-space,
in transit. We overtake,
and as we pass by I see
she placed a circular hole
at the centre of the shape
across which I sense
some sort of lattice,
strung like a harp,
cradling the sky’s blueness.