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From the publisher
Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations reissued as a Carcanet Classic. Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations, first published in 1886, changed the language of poetry. In John Ashbery the book has a translator whose virtuosic originality brings Rimbaud's visions alive. The `crystalline jumble' of Illuminations, Ashbery writes, is still emitting pulses of energy. `If we are absolutely modern - and we are - it's because Rimbaud commanded us to be.' Ashbery relays the kaleidoscopic dazzle of the original, a Splendide Hotel `built amid the tangled heap of ice floes and the polar night', where the Witch `will never want to tell us what she knows, and which we do not know'.