To Be A Poet

Arthur Rimbaud

arthur-rimbaud-10
A poet makes himself a visionary
through a long, boundless, and
systematized disorganization
of all the senses. All forms
of love, of suffering, of madness;
he searches himself, he exhausts
within himself all poisons, and
preserves their quintessences.

Unspeakable torment, where he will
need the greatest faith, a
superhuman strength, where he
becomes all men the great invalid,
the great criminal, the great
accursed–and the Supreme Scientist!
For he attains the unknown! Because
he has cultivated his soul, already
rich, more than anyone! He attains
the unknown, and if, demented, he
finally loses the understanding
of his visions, he will at least
have seen them!

So what if he is destroyed in his ecstatic
flight through things unheard of, unnameable:
other horrible workers will come; they will
begin at the horizons where
the first one has fallen!

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