Roman (Romance) by Arthur Rimbaud

11 Apr

(as seen in Maman’s high school literature text):


On n’est pas sérieux, quand on a dix-sept ans.
- Un beau soir, foin des bocks et de la limonade,
Des cafés tapageurs aux lustres éclatants!
- On va sous les tilleuls verts de la promenade.

Les tilleuls sentent bon dans les bons soirs de juin!
L’air est parfois si doux, qu’on ferme la paupière ;
Le vent chargé de bruits – la ville n’est pas loin -
A des parfums de vigne et des parfums de bière….

When you are seventeen you aren’t really serious.
- One fine evening, you’ve had enough of beer and lemonade,
And the rowdy cafes with their dazzling lights!
- You go walking beneath the green lime trees of the promenade.

The lime trees smell good on fine evenings in June!
The air is so soft sometimes, you close your eyelids;
The wind, full of sounds, – the town’s not far away -
Carries odours of vines, and odours of beer…


-Voilà qu’on aperçoit un tout petit chiffon
D’azur sombre, encadré d’une petite branche,
Piqué d’une mauvaise étoile, qui se fond
Avec de doux frissons, petite et toute blanche…

Nuit de juin! Dix-sept ans! – On se laisse griser.
La sève est du champagne et vous monte à la tête…
On divague; on se sent aux lèvres un baiser
Qui palpite là, comme une petite bête…

- Then you see a very tiny rag
Of dark blue, framed by a small branch,
Pierced by an unlucky star which is melting away
With soft little shivers, small, perfectly white…

June night! Seventeen! – You let yourself get drunk.
The sap is champagne and goes straight to your head…
You are wandering; you feel a kiss on your lips
Which quivers like something small and alive…


Le coeur fou Robinsonne à travers les romans,
Lorsque, dans la clarté d’un pâle réverbère,
Passe une demoiselle aux petits airs charmants,
Sous l’ombre du faux col effrayant de son père…

Et, comme elle vous trouve immensément naïf,
Tout en faisant trotter ses petites bottines,
Elle se tourne, alerte et d’un mouvement vif….
- Sur vos lèvres alors meurent les cavatines…

Your mad heart goes Crusoeing through all the romances,
- When, under the light of a pale street lamp,
Passes a young girl with charming little airs,
In the shadow of her father’s terrifying stiff collar…

And because you strike her as absurdly naif,
As she trots along in her little ankle boots,
She turns, wide awake, with a brisk movement…
And then cavatinas die on your lips…


Vous êtes amoureux. Loué jusqu’au mois d’août.
Vous êtes amoureux. – Vos sonnets La font rire.
Tous vos amis s’en vont, vous êtes mauvais goût.
- Puis l’adorée, un soir, a daigné vous écrire…!

- Ce soir-là,… – vous rentrez aux cafés éclatants,
Vous demandez des bocks ou de la limonade.
- On n’est pas sérieux, quand on a dix-sept ans
Et qu’on a des tilleuls verts sur la promenade.

You’re in love. Taken until the month of August.
You’re in love – Your sonnets make her laugh.
All your friends disappear, you are not quite the thing.
- Then your adored one, one evening, condescends to write to you…!

That evening,… – you go back again to the dazzling cafes,
You ask for beer or for lemonade.
- You are not really serious when you are seventeen
And there are green lime trees on the promenade.


— Arthur Rimbaud, 29 September 1870


On a side note, I question how Orzon is able to strike the perfect balance between blank psycho protagonists and cathartically engaging erotica in Jeune et Jolie. Marine Vacth is a goddess. ugh.

jeune et jolie


5 Apr

“Some people just want to watch the world burn” 

my demons exist in clockwork and emotions, too much friction and the forest burns. it irks me how people can be so apathetic.

or maybe I should be less sensitive.

conclusion: I need to reach an equilibrium with my emotions.

Singapore Summer

29 Mar

(heh I’m getting peeved at everything)


Funny thing is,
we don’t have a fall or winter,
spring or autumn —
we call it a perpetual summer.
now remains an essential component
in our water bottles.
tourists with their plastic battery operated
fans, tongues in constant
“let’s find the air conditioning.”

You see the clammy hands of businessmen
counting stars and sheets of cash,
the heat of the stock exchange
oozing out of their pores.
the palms have dried themselves out,
after all if you can’t withstand the
equatorial fever,
go online.

naked as we came

23 Mar

the words aren’t coming to me. maybe because I can’t describe what I’ve been feeling into words. or maybe because exposing these words would result in the dilution of its meaning. but it’s over, it’s over.

i. on a side note, something I’ve realised over the course of the past few weeks: I get too easily attached and too easily detached.

ii. maybe you think you know me but you know that I know that you were just looking for words to say and letting the auxiliary swim amongst the thought bubbles left unsaid.

iii. the walls have crumbled down and the bandage has been ripped out. I thought I required antiseptic but it healed even before you could react.

iv. when I leave, I really do hope the seashells remain intact. if it crumbles to sand, I will know that it simply wasn’t worth my time.

v. I have learnt patience, and patient I will remain until you appear.

vi. and so this is where we end off, not with a bang, not with a whimper but with a distant smile; back turned and hand indicating a final wave.

reflex actions

17 Mar

decided to numb myself for awhile and address these feelings at a later date. seems like a good plan.

forest fires

9 Mar

Finding it so hard to breathe lately (and I doubt it’s because of the haze) will probably die of asphyxiation from the polluted thoughts in my mind. extinguish the cancer before it consumes my being, please and thank you.

In other news, John has also run out of damns to give. (refer below)

denouement (on hold)

25 Feb

Scrolled through my archives and came across a post written exactly 1 year and 1 day ago. So much has changed over the past year and I think most importantly, I have changed. I vaguely remember my new year’s resolution for last year was to be grateful. simple but seemingly very hard to fulfil. I know people think resolutions are a novelty, an empty promise utilised to bookmark each year. I think for me, it’s something more than that. last year, marked the start of a new chapter for me: my faith. This year brings a new chapter: ending. In everything I do, I can feel the future pulling at my conscience. Adults often tell us to enjoy our youth first, to not worry about growing up too fast. But it seems like there’s something liberating about aging. To collect and consolidate and experience.

I haven’t had time to think about my endgoal for this year (well once I leave secondary school) until today. and I decided it’s to appreciate. It’s a very subtle shift from gratitude. I realise we often can give thanks for what we have but hardly consider the reasons why we are thankful for that something or someone. It seems like a good ending to a well worn chapter and something that shouldn’t be delayed before it’s too late. no regrets, no regrets.

Also, I received this today from a perfect stranger.

“hi. you may not know me, but i came across your tumblr/blog by accident … i just wanted to say that your blog posts about your faith have inspired me so much. i am a Catholic too, and i’m getting confirmed this year. and today i want to tell you that i am grateful for people like you today, because it is people like you who reassure and reaffirm me of my own faith and empower (not encourage, but EMPOWER) me to take more concrete steps towards God. so thank you :-)”

Whoever you are, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this. Reading this made me feel incredibly heartened. I am so, so happy for you. I cannot promise that your spiritual journey in faith will be an easy one, but I can assure you that indeed it will be immensely fulfilling. and you see, that’s the reason why we live by faith and not by sight.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

so best of luck friend and let me know how everything goes :)


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