This song is an invocation to the ideas, writings and short life of Arthur Rimbaud, whose hometown I visited later in 2011, for ten days.
The refrain "Pray for him" is taken directly from the short epitaph of his tombstone. Rimbaud drank absinthe . He was a cut-up youth, a sensitive boy, a dreamer and a visionary. His writing life was incredibly brief at a very early age. It is most noteworthy that he told of a magical and fantastic world, a sort of cosmic and spiritual intelligence behind the mundane of the material world. This sacred vision, he said, was known only to the rarest of humans. To wit, it was scarcely present in the Catholic system of ideology that educated him. At least not as we know it historically, in his time or more recently. The freedom that Rimbaud sought in his wandering life of so--called "sin" was actually a spiritual journey and an intentional one in some respects shown in his writings.
The final epitaph of "Pray for him" would almost aeem a condescending summation of a beautiful life by suggesting that Rimbaud, like all mortals, is bound up in sinfulness. But sins are very much a pathological perception of the sanctimonious. Rimbaud was in fact not just a teenage cut-up or "enfant terrible" like many of us are or were, but he was a bonifide spiritual soul of great value and inspiration to writers.
Rimbaud and Verlaine were often identified with the preexisting Symbolist movement, which mined dream worlds for meaning and exploited various intoxications. My usage of the phrase "green hour"is a reference to absinthe drinking, that was common in the bars at 5pm daily in mid-late 19th Century France.
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Started 2011 March 13 Sunday (12:57pm DST mtn time) and essentially completed at 3:53pm same day. After many edits, the current version was completed 2011 April 04 Monday (evening). Drunken Boat posted online 2011 April 5 Tuesday. Last edit occurred 2011 April 07 Thursday.