L’hiver, nous irons dans un petit wagon rose

Here is a poem by Rimbaud, describing a dream of getting into a carriage with a companion or lover, cozily settling into the cushions and falling into his lover’s arms for a sensual journey. Sounds like he might have been reading Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, with its notorious carriage scene…Anyway, it is a very fitting subject for a dream on a cold winter’s day.

And, of course, this is a sonnet with respect to the number of lines and their structure, but, I think unusually, the lines vary in length, giving an interesting rhythmic variation on the usual form,

Rêvé Pour l’hiver.

L’hiver, nous irons dans un petit wagon rose

Avec des coussins bleus.

Nous serons bien. Un nid de baisers fous repose

Dans chaque coin moelleux.

Tu fermeras l’oeil, pour ne point voir, par la glace,

Grimacer les ombres des soirs,

Ces monstruosités hargneuses, populace

De démons noirs et de loups noirs.

Puis tu te sentiras la joue égratignée…

Un petit baiser, comme une folle araignée,

Te courra par le cou…

Et tu me diras : “Cherche !”, en inclinant la tête,

– Et nous prendrons du temps à trouver cette bête

– Qui voyage beaucoup…

From <http://www.best-poems.net/poem/a-dream-for-winter-by-arthur-rimbaud.html>

This is a charming scene, described from the imagination of the poet, anticipating a winter carriage-ride with his lover, snuggling among the cushions inside the carriage as it moves through the streets. The lover closes her eyes so as to not see the dark and murky exterior, full of the supposed monsters of the night. The poet caresses her cheek and begins to kiss her neck, leading to the expected outcome hinted in the final three lines.

The poem echoes Flaubert, but also anticipates Proust, as in the scene where Swann leans in to smell the orchids on Odette’s dress as they return home in a carriage after an evening with Mme Verdurin. Its nice to see such a specific continuity of theme across three great writers.

The Poetry Dude


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