City Monument – Poet Arthur Rimbaud’s Memorial, Marseille
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It is close to midnight. The Delhi Walla cannot see the Mediterranean but can hear it. The sea waves are softly washing upon the shore.
I’m on the southern edge of Marseille. The lights of the denser parts of the city are twinkling on the other end. Here, I’m on a small hill. After climbing a bit, I stop at a curious rocky structure at the top. It is a monument to Arthur Rimbaud. Tomorrow is his 163rd birth anniversary.
Although Rimbaud is buried somewhere in the north of France, he had died in this city, and this is the only remembrance to him in Marseille.
The memorial is just a few steps away from the Mediterranean. Africa, where the poet spent so many years, is on the other side of this sea.
In such utter darkness, it is proving impossible to decipher the shape of the installation.
Far away, two lovers are lolling around the cold grass under a lamppost. Close by, a man is sitting alone in dark. Perhaps there are more people around. Or, may be not.
Suddenly, I chance upon a slab on the slope. The inscription is in French but two words stand out: Arthur Rimbaud.
One day I’ll visit Rimbaud in the daylight, too.
Rimbaud by night