Monday, July 23, 2012

Today's poem by Arthur Rimbaud

When we were in college, living in a Boston apartment, the guy across the hall loved Arthur Rimbaud. So often he'd say, 'Rimbaud, man, Rimbaud.'

So, in honor of Paris in July, and that long ago neighbor,

here is a poem by Arthur Rimbaud.

The Cupboard

It's a board carved wooden cupboard;
the ancient dark-coloured oak
has taken on that pleasant air
that old people have; the cupboard is open,
and gives off from its kindly shadows
inviting aromas like a breath of old wine;
full to overflowing, it's a jumble of quaint old things:
fragrant yellowed linen,
rags of women's or children's clothes, faded laces,
grandmothers' kerchiefs embroidered with griffins;
- here you could find lockets,
and locks of white or blonde hair,
portraits and dried flowers
whose smell mingles with the smell of fruit. -

O cupboard of old times, you know plenty of stories;
and you'd like to tell them;
and you clear your throat every time
your great dark doors slowly open.

Arthur Rimbaud (20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891)

From Groundhog Day


  1. Haha! I love that clip. Bill Murray is one of my all-time favorite actors :)

  2. That clip cracked me up!!! Love that movie and what a clever way to insert that into your French post today!

    1. Apparently he isn't even quoting 19th century French poetry. :<)

  3. Wonderful, Nan. Simply wonderful. Your banners keep teasing with all sorts of beauties from your Hill Farm, a good clip from Groundhog Day (which I never tire of) and oh, that poem. What an image of the cupboard, clearing its throat to tell the stories it holds. I don't know this poem, or the poet, and now I must have more.

    1. I'm so, so happy to have a hollyhock!
      I found the poem so touching. Poor Rimbaud - he died very young.

  4. Oh this is wonderful! In fact, it brought to my mind a book that is sitting on my shelves waiting for me to explore it. It is called A Well-kept Home: Household traditions and Simple Secrets from a French Grandmother by Luara Fronty and Yves Duronsoy. I just pulled it from the bookshelves behind my writing table to start reading. It is finally summer here in Holland and I am going to sit in the shade later with a glass of homemade lemonade enjoying some of these old wisdoms. It is always easy to find inspiration with you my dear friend!

    Hugs from Holland ~

    1. I must look into this book. It sounds wonderful just from the title.
      Thanks so much for your nice words.

  5. Doesn't everyone have that memory of Grandma's cupboard? I remember my Grandfathers desk too. The smell of old paper, ink.

    1. I have one that belonged to my aunt who died ten years ago. We've never touched it in all those years, but are finally going to paint it.

  6. Loved it! And the beautiful flower on your header is awesome!

  7. Groundhog Day is one of my all time favourite films!

    1. My whole family walks around quoting lines. :<) We watch it every year.

  8. I love the poem, I shall seek out more by Rimbaud, thank you.

    1. I'm so glad you liked it. He wrote some beautiful poems. So sad that he died young.


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