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Je m'en allais, les poings dans mes poches crevées; Mon paletot soudain devenait idéal; J'allais sous le ciel, Muse, et j'étais ton féal; Oh! là là! que d'amours splendides j'ai rêvées! Mon unique culotte avait un large trou. Petit-Poucet rêveur, j'égrenais dans ma course Des rimes. Mon auberge était à la Grande-Ourse. Mes étoiles au ciel avaient un doux frou-frou Et je les écoutais, assis au bord des routes, Ces bons soirs de septembre où je sentais des gouttes De rosée à mon front, comme un vin de vigueur; Où, rimant au milieu des ombres fantastiques, Comme des lyres, je tirais les élastiques De mes souliers blessés, un pied près de mon coeur!
About the headline (FAQ)
- by (Jean Nicholas) Arthur Rimbaud (1854 - 1891), "Ma bohème", written 1870, appears in Poésies, Paris, Éd. du Mercure de France, first published 1929 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Jean-Guy Bailly (1925 - 2009), "Ma bohème (Fantaisie)", 1987 [ baritone and piano ], from Trois poèmes d'Arthur Rimbaud, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Rudolf Escher (1912 - 1980), "Ma bohème (fantaisie) ", 1970, from Univers de Rimbaud, no. 5 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Pierre Moret (b. 1949), "Ma Bohème", 1999 [ soprano and piano or harpsichord ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928 - 2016), "Ma bohème", 1972 [ men's chorus ], from Elämän kirja (A Book of Life), no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Pascal Zavaro (b. 1959), "Ma bohème", published 2006 [ medium voice and guitar ], from Sensation, sur un texte d'Arthur Rimbaud, pour soprano et guitare, no. 1, Éd. Gérard Billaudot [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Peter Low) , "My vagabondage", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2009-02-08
Line count: 14
Word count: 113
I would take to the road, with my fists in my holey pockets and a coat that was getting more virtual than real. I would walk beneath the sky, oh Muse, as your devotee. Wow, what splendid loves I dreamt of then! There was a big hole in my only trousers, and as I walked, a dreamy Tom Thumb, I would count out lines of verse. My inn was the Sign of the Great Bear. In the sky my stars made a gentle rustling. And I'd listen to them, while sitting at the roadside on those good September nights when I could feel drops of dew on my forehead, like invigorating wine. There, making poems amid fantastical shadows, I would stretch and pluck like lyre-strings the laces of my wounded shoes, with one foot up near my heart.
- Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2011 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in French (Français) by (Jean Nicholas) Arthur Rimbaud (1854 - 1891), "Ma bohème", written 1870, appears in Poésies, Paris, Éd. du Mercure de France, first published 1929
This text was added to the website: 2011-03-05
Line count: 14
Word count: 138