If you’ve been following my series of reviews of The Cahier Series published by Sylph Editions, then you know Cahier #4 is next in this wonderful line-up. Alan Jenkins’ love for the poet Arthur Rimbaud shines forth in his cahier, which features the famous Drunken Boats (Le Bateau ivre), translated from the French by Jenkins. Also featured are two original works by Jenkins celebrating the style of Rimbaud and his passion for the sea.
I think most amazing to me was to learn that Rimbaud had not only written Drunken Boats at the age of seventeen, but that he had never been to sea before writing it. Anyone who has had the pleasure of reading this work will know that you can’t read it without experiencing vivid imaginings of a vast and complex sea. Jenkins’ translation is smooth and seemingly effortless, giving the poetry lover something rich to visit again and again.
Alan Jenkins’ own two poems are also a great pleasure to read, evoking images of Rimbaud’s sea. The three works in one volume make for a powerful combination, enhanced all the more by the incredible artwork I’ve been learning to expect from The Cahier Series.