Site hosted by Build your free website today!
The Drunken Boat - Analysis

VERY Quick Analysis
(Rimbaud’s Poetic Practice: Image and Theme in the Major Poems, W.M. Frohock)

... The poem is a narrative. Something or someone, who speaks in the first person, glides down “impassive” rivers to tide water, and then for ten nights (and presumably days) is tossed about by the tumultuous waters of the open sea. The experience is a joyful one, and at the end the speaker has a feeling of freedom and purification. Now begins a new experience, which lasts for months, during which, either in the sea or upon it, the speaker actually sees what other men have thought they glimpsed from time to time -- and there follows a catalogue of the wonders of the sea. But there comes a moment when the “I” who is speaking is tired of, or unequal to the vision, and wishes to return to ordinary life again. Straightway he is at home, looking back upon his experience, and being sorry that he cannot renew it. The only water in Europe which attracts him is the shallow pool where a child (perhaps himself) is sailing a paper boat on a spring evening. But he no longer has the strength, or the courage, to resume his visionary voyage. ...

Back to Rimbaud