The Sad Songs of Hell
The Sad Songs of Hell are rooted in the French poems of Arthur Rimbaud. Since Cunningham knows almost no French, his "translations" use improvisation to create new works, ending up with something between projection, personal indulgence, and some possibly accurate interpretations.
What are these poems 'after Rimbaud'? What, of his language, sticks around? Perhaps some of his attitude, or political disgust. Maybe we can still hear his famous dialectic between the beautiful and the transgressive. Is it possible that these poems have as much Rimbaudian energy as an accurate translation, or even more? And if they have something to say in their own right, should their relation to the original matter?