Novel

I.

No one's serious at seventeen.
--On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade
And loud, blinding cafés are the last thing you need
--You stroll beneath green lindens on the promenade.

Lindens smell fine on fine June nights!
Sometimes the air is so sweet that you close your eyes;
The wind brings sounds--the town is near--
And carries scents of vineyards and beer. . .

II.

--Over there, framed by a branch
You can see a little patch of dark blue
Stung by a sinister star that fades
With faint quiverings, so small and white. . .

June nights! Seventeen!--Drink it in.
Sap is champagne, it goes to your head. . .
The mind wanders, you feel a kiss
On your lips, quivering like a living thing. . .

III.

The wild heart Crusoes through a thousand novels
--And when a young girl walks alluringly
Through a streetlamp's pale light, beneath the ominous shadow
Of her father's starched collar. . .

Because as she passes by, boot heels tapping,
She turns on a dime, eyes wide,
Finding you too sweet to resist. . .
--And cavatinas die on your lips.

IV.

You're in love. Off the market till August.
You're in love.--Your sonnets make Her laugh.
Your friends are gone, you're bad news.
--Then, one night, your beloved, writes. . .!

That night. . .you return to the blinding cafés;
You order beer or lemonade. . .
--No one's serious at seventeen
When lindens line the promenade.

by Arthur Rimbaud

Other poems of RIMBAUD (124)

Comments (13)

Very good poem thanks so so much
Classic Rimbaud, the unsuspecting paradigm shift: that night your lover writes...(something sweet...i love you) , NO, that night you return to the Blinding cafes and order beer, but then he brings you out of the hole with another paradigm shift - -no one's serious at seventeen. Rimbaud in A Season In Hell, mentions Islam a couple times, but in all his writings he never once uses the words Jew or Jewish. In this poem he talks about dark blue stung by a sinister star small and white. I will often think of him often at all times of the day and He did come after shakespear
if blinding cafes are too that at 17, can I use that as an excuse for not going to a party at 62?
its a sincere fact of the age group 17 and its factually true...no one is serious at 17...careless attitude and the love for everything...love it
No one is serious at seventeen I just like this since it's the fact of life, Nice piece.
See More