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Bottom (Bottom)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).

Reality being too thorny for my fine character—nevertheless I found myself with my lady, in the guise of a big grey-blue bird soaring towards the mouldings of the ceiling, and trailing my wings in the evening shadows.

I was at the foot of the canopy supporting her beloved jewels and her physical perfections, a great bear with violet gums and fur hoary with sorrow, my eyes on the crystal and silver of the cabinets.

All became shadow and glowing green depths.

In the morning—a quarrelsome June dawn—I ran into the fields an ass, flourishing my grievance with clarion cries till the Sabine women of the suburb came to throw themselves on my neck.


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