Poet, prodigy, precursor, punk: the short, precocious, uncompromisingly rebellious career of the poet Arthur Rimbaud is one of the legends of modern literature. By the time he was twenty, Rimbaud had written a series of poems that are not only masterpieces in themselves but that forever transformed the idea of what poetry is. Without him, surrealism is inconceivable, and his influence is palpable in artists as diverse as Henry Miller, John Ashbery, Bob Dylan, and Patti Smith. In this essential volume, renowned translator Mark Polizzotti offers authoritative and inspired new versions of Rimbaud’s major poems and letters, including generous selection of Illuminations
and the entirety of his lacerating confession A Season in Hell
—capturing as never before not only the meaning but also the daredevil attitudes and incantatory rhythms that make Rimbaud’s works among the most perpetually modern of his or any other generation.
Mark Polizzotti is, without any doubt, right there with the very best translators of symbolist or any other French poetry, and here he surpasses even himself.
—Mary Ann Caws