Friday, September 13, 2013

Léo Ferré - Rimbaud - The Drunken Ship


Original Title: "Le bateau ivre"
As I was going down impassive rivers
I felt I was no more guided by the haulers
High pitched red Indians had targetted them
Having nailed them naked to the colored posts

I was uncaring of all the crews
Carrying flemish wheats or english cotons.
When, with my hauleurs, they had finished kicking a racket
The rivers let me go down where I wanted.

In the furious lapping of the tides
Me, that other winter, more deaf than children's brains
I ran! And the started peninsula,
never lived more triumphing hubbub

The tempest blessed my maritime awakenings.
Lighter than a cork I dansed on the floods
named eternal rollers of victims
Ten nights, without regretting the silly eye of the lanterns

As I was going down impassive rivers
I felt I was no more guided by the haulers
High pitched red Indians had targetted them
Having nailed them naked to the colored posts

I was uncaring of all the crews
Carrying flemish wheats or english cotons.
When, with my hauleurs, they had finished kicking a racket
The rivers let me go down where I wanted.

Sweeter than to the children the flesh of the sour apples
The green water penetrated my fir hull
And of blue wine stains and of vomits
washed me, scattered rudder and grapplings

And then, I had a bath in the poem
of the sea, instilled with stars, and milky
devouring the green azures where, wan waterlines
and delighted, a thoughtful drowned person sometimes goes down

Where suddenly dying the made blue, delirium
And slow rythms under the day's gleams
Stronger than alcohol, vaster than our lyres
ferment the biter freckles of love.

I know the skies bursting in lightnings, and the waterspouts
And the undertows, and the currents, I know the evening,
The exalted dawn like a dove people
And I've seen a few times what man thought seeing
And I've seen a few times what man thought seeing
And I've seen a few times what man thought seeing

As I was going down impassive rivers
I felt I was no more guided by the haulers
High pitched red Indians had targetted them
Having nailed them naked to the colored posts

I was uncaring of all the crews
Carrying flemish wheats or english cotons.
When, with my hauleurs, they had finished kicking a racket
The rivers let me go
The rivers let me go down where I wanted.

I've seen the low sun, stained with mystical horrors,
Illuminating long purple freezings,
Like actors of very antique dramas.
The floods rolling their shutter's shudders in the distance

I've dreamt the green night about the dazzled snows
Kisses slowly rushing to the eyes of the seas
The circulation of the unprecedented saps
And the yellow and blue awakening of the singing phosphorus !

As I was going down impassive rivers
I felt I was no more guided by the haulers
High pitched red Indians had targetted them
Having nailed them naked to the colored posts

I was uncaring of all the crews
Carrying flemish wheats or english cotons.
When, with my hauleurs, they had finished kicking a racket
The rivers let me go down where I wanted.

I've followed for full months, alike the nasty remarks
hysterical, the swell setting out to conquer the reefs
Without thinking that the luminous feet of the Marys
Could force the muzzle to the wheezy Ocean !

I've knocked, you know, incredible Floridas
Mingling to flowers eyes of panthers with skins
Of men! Rainbows braced like bridles
Under the seas horizon, to dreary herds!

I've seen the huge swamps fermenting, creel
Where rotens in the rushes a whole Leviathan!
Collapses of water in the middle of lulls
and the faraway's toward the cataracting abysses!

Glaciers, silver suns, mother-of-pearls waves, fiery skies!
Hideous groundings at the end of the brown gulfs
where the giant snakes devoured by water sticks
cherish crooked trees with black perfumes!

As I was going down impassive rivers
I felt I was no more guided by the haulers
High pitched red Indians had targetted them
Having nailed them naked to the colored posts.

I was uncaring of all the crews
Carrying flemish wheats or english cotons.
When, with my hauleurs, they had finished kicking a racket
The rivers let me go down where I wanted.

I'd have liked to show to the children those sea breams
of the blue stream, those golden fishes, those singing fishes
Flowers' foams have cradled my departures from harbours
And ineffable wings have winged me at times.

Sometimes, martyr weary of the poles and of the zones,
the sea whose sobbing was making my rolling sweet
was coming in toward me her shadow flowers with yellow suction pads
and I was staying like a woman on her knees...

As I was going down impassive rivers
I felt I was no more guided by the haulers
High pitched red Indians had targetted them
Having nailed them naked to the colored posts.

I was uncaring of all the crews
Carrying flemish wheats or english cotons.
When, with my hauleurs, they had finished kicking a racket
The rivers let me go down where I wanted.

Peninsula, tossing on my tacks the quarrels
and the droppings of the gossiping birds with blond eyes.
And I was sailing when through my frail bounds
drowned persons came down to sleep, backwards!

Now I, lost ship under the hair of the coves
threw by the hurricane in the birdless ether
I whose the Monitors and the Hansa sailing ships
wouldn't have recovered the drunken from water skeleton

Free, smoking, riden by purple fogs
I who was making a hole through the reddening sky like a wall
who is carrying, exquisite jams to the good poets
sun lichens and azure mucus

Who was running, stained of electric half-moons
Mad plank, escorted of the black seahorses
When the july's were bringing down with cudgel hits
the ultramarine skies with burning funnels

As I was going down impassive rivers
I felt I was no more guided by the haulers
High pitched red Indians had targetted them
Having nailed them naked to the colored posts.

I was uncaring of all the crews
Carrying flemish wheats or english cotons.
When, with my hauleurs, they had finished kicking a racket
The rivers let me go down where I wanted.

I who was trembling, feeling the moans from fifty leagues
the rut of the Behemots and the thick maelstroms.
Eternal spinner of the blue immobilities
I look back at Europe with its ancient parapets.

I've seen sidereal archipelagoes and islands
whose delirious skies are opened to the sailors :
— Is it during those bottomless nights that you sleep and go into exile,
Millions of golden birds, O future vigour ?

But, true, I've cried too much! The Dawns are distressing.
Every moon is dreadful and every sun bitter :
The acrid love swelled me with intoxicating torpors.
O let my keel burst! O let me go to the sea !

If I desire a water from Europe, it's the puddle
Black and cold where toward the balmy dusk
A squatting child, full of sadness, let go
a frail ship like a butterfly of may.

I'm not bathed of your languidnesses, anymore O waves,
take away their trail to the coton carriers,
Neither crossing the pride of the flags and flames,
Nor swimming under the horrible eyes of the pontoons

Philippe Léotard version:

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