"Nature, lull him warmly: he is cold."

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Arthur Rimbaud
translated from the French by Len Sousa

The Valley Sleeper

Itís a green hollow where a river sings
Wildly tangling on the grass in silver
Tatters; where the sun, above a proud mountain
Shines: itís a tiny valley foaming with light.

A young soldier, mouth open, head bare,
And nape bathing in the blue watercress
Sleeps; outstretched on the grass, under the sky,
Pale in his green bed where daylight rains.

Feet in the gladiolas, he sleeps. Smiling
Like a sick child would, heís having a nap:
Nature, lull him warmly: he is cold.

Sweet smells never quiver his nostrils;
He sleeps in the sun, hand on his chest,
Calm. Thereíre two red holes in his right side.




Len Sousa is a 22-year-old writer at work on a series of new Rimbaud translations. He recently received his BFA from Emerson College studying under poets Jonathan Aaron and Bill Knott. His poetry has appeared in issues of The Alembic, Gangsters In Concrete ,The Emerson Review, and Gauge Magazine. This is his first published translation.