An Analysis of the Poem 'Novel' by Arthur Rimbaud

1151 Words Jan 10th, 2018 5 Pages
The poem is divided in four parts with eight stanzas (two stanzas each part). Each stanza contains four lines. The poem appears to be a reflection on the wonders of youth, when the world is all new. The title may be interpreted as a reference to life as a "novel" experience. The poem looks with innocent eyes at youthful affection, and youthful commitment. The first part has two stanzas. The opening stanza is:

No one's serious at seventeen. --On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade And loud, blinding cafés are the last thing you need --You stroll beneath green lindens on the promenade.

The poem begins with an observation. The second line juxtaposes beautiful nights with beer and lemonade. The mention of beer and lemonade in the same line is interesting in that beer is a beverage of adulthood, while lemonade is a beverage of childhood. At seventeen one is presumably at that awkward age between adolescence and adulthood, between lemonade and beer. At seventeen all nights are beautiful, and exciting, filled with adventures yet to unfold, nonetheless the author offers that "loud blinding cafes are the last thing you need." This could be seen as a caution to the youth not to venture too far into the adult world too soon. Nonetheless the protagonist (you) continues to walk along the tree lined promenade.

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