Arthur Rimbaud has long been my favourite poet.
He spent much of his youth travelling by foot across France and Belgium, drinking and writing his poetry.
At the age of twenty he gave up poetry for good and resumed his restless travelling across the globe.
He died at the age of 38 leaving behind a body of work that would place him amongst the greatest of French poets.
Long the patron saint of bohemians, visionaries, modernists, vagabonds and punk-rockers, he is also special to the lonesome traveller setting-up camp in a forbidden place.
Our salute to wild camping comes from A Season in Hell, his most well known, and perhaps greatest, work of art:
The best thing of all is a very drunken sleep, on the beach
Also for the wanderer, from the poem ‘Feelings’:
On the blue summer evenings, I’ll roam along the footpaths, Brushed by the blades of wheat, treading the fine grass. Full of wonder, I shall feel its freshness at my feet. I shall let the wind bathe my uncovered head. I shall say nothing at all, nor shall I think about anything. Yet this infinite love will rise to fill my soul.
Saying and thinking nothing, the liberation of the path underfoot, who could ask for more?
3 thoughts on “In Praise of Wild Camping – Arthur Rimbaud on a beach in France”
Rimbaud is another of the ever-growing list of writers I should have tried by now. Based on your quotes above, he sounds right up my alley! And I’ve been meaning to check him out since first hearing the Dylan lyric “Situations have ended sad/Relationships have all been bad/Mine’ve been like Verlaine’s and Rimbaud”. Thanks, I’ll try Kindle today when I get hold of some wifi.
I haven’t heard that Dylan lyric, I’ll have to check out the track. Hope you enjoy Rimbaud and get as much out of him as I have over the years.
Amen to all of this.