Syd Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd who died on Friday aged 60, provided one of rock music's most enduring and confounding legends; some critics thought him a modern-day Rimbaud, others dismissed him as a deranged under-achiever.
[The entire obituary is mind-blowing, and probably impossible for Americans to understand how it can appear in the most conservative newspaper in Britain. In some respects, British Conservatives are far more left-wing than the most left-wing Americans.]
Ummm, wasn't Rimbaud a deranged "under achiever"? The greatest of French poets, who then ended up in a relationship with Verlaine (Rimbaud was portrayed very nicely by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Total Eclipse 1995), who then gave up poetry in order to become a slave-trader in Africa?
An example of Rimbaud's Poetry (this with Verlaine)
[Do not read if you are of a sensitive type.]
Sonnet of the Asshole (Sonnet du Trou de Cul)
Translated and adapted by Arthur "Slim" Volume (10/17/01)
Translators Note: This is the only poem known to have been composed jointly by Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. The Parnassien poet Albert Mérat had published a book of sonnets entitled L'Idole, in which each poem extolled a part of his mistress' body– with one omission, which the two young iconoclasts proceeded to rectify. This sonnet appeared in the Album Zutique, a book of scabrous parodies by the Parisian literary circle who called themselves Les Zutistes.
Dark and wrinkled like a violet carnation,
It sighs, humbly nestling in the moss still moist from love
That follows the descent of sweet white cheeks
Down to their edge.
Filaments like tears of milk
Have wept beneath the cruel south wind
That drives them back across the little clots of russet clay,
And disappeared there where the slope has called them.
My Dream has often kissed its opening;
My Soul, that envies mortal intercourse
Has chosen this to be its wild and musky nest of sobs.
It is the swooning olive and the sweet cajoling flute
The tube through which celestial creamy pralines tumble down
Female Promised Land rimmed round with dew!
Sonnet du Trou du Cul
Obscur et froncé comme un oeillet violet
Il respire, humblement tapi parmi la mousse
Humide encor d'amour qui suit la fuite douce
Des Fesses blanches jusqu'au coeur de son ourlet.
Des filaments pareils à des larmes de lait
Ont pleuré, sous le vent cruel qui les repousse,
À travers de petits caillots de marne rousse
Pour s'aller perdre où la pente les appelait.
Mon Rêve s'aboucha souvent à sa ventouse ;
Mon âme, du coït matériel jalouse,
En fit son larmier fauve et son nid de sanglots.
C'est l'olive pâmée, et la flûte caline,
C'est le tube où descend la céleste praline :
Chanaan féminin dans les moiteurs enclos !