Monday, December 24, 2012
"The telegraph resounds at every post. It is a harp with one string—The first strain from the American lyre." —Henry David Thoreau, Journal (February 14, 1854)
"And the lines of telegraph poles— / Lyres of iron song—will adorn / Your magnificent shoulder blades!" —Arthur Rimbaud, "What is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers" (1871)
Thoreau wrote those words in his journal the year Rimbaud was born. He was nearly thirty-seven at the time, the age at which Rimbaud died.
Images: Thoreau in '54; Rimbaud in '71
(I wonder if likening telegraph wires to a lyre was cliche by the time Rimbaud got around to using it... "What is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers" was, after all, a parody.)