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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Le Bateau Ivre!



Of course, all boat work and no play makes Equinox a dull ship! So, we went out in the dinghy and found a great little restaurant and waterfront bar in Porto Cupecoy in which to dine, drink and celebrate all our repairs: Le Bateau Ivre -- which means ”The Drunken Boat”! It's a cleverly decorated restaurant in a serene setting on the edge of Simpson Bay, with great staff like Ludo and Valerie, who did their utmost to ensure us a delightful meal. We thought the name quite fun -- even apt, although I thought the better translation would be “The Tipsy Boat” (double entendre intended)! 

That is, a better translation until I checked into where "Le Bateau Ivre" actually comes from. It’s a very famous “gem” of French poetry written in 1871 by Arthur Rimbaud at the young age of 16, about the “delirious visions of a boat, swamped and lost at sea.” (Ok…not exactly cheery nor fun, in my book!) It’s also quite long -- a 100-line poem arranged in a series of “25 alexandrine quatrains”. Now, an alexandrine is a line of poetic meter comprised of 12 syllables, and a quatrain is a stanza consisting of four lines…who knew all that?? (I admit, I had no idea about the alexandrine! Google to the rescue on that one.) In any event, the poem is very famous in France for its memorable lines and vivid imagery, as seen from the boat’s point of view as it sinks through the sea. Clearly Arthur Rimbaud was pretty talented to write such a poem at such a young age...and despite its rather dismal subject matter (from my point of view), it is a great name for a restaurant!

"I would have liked to show children dolphins
Of the blue wave, the golden singing fish.
– Flowering foams rocked me in my drift,
At times unutterable winds gave me wings."
                       - from "Le Bateau Ivre" by Arthur Rimbaud

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