Arthur Rimbaud's "Illuminations", first published in 1886, changed the way the world is seen; in John Ashbery the book has a translator whose virtuosic originality brings Rimbaud's vision to life in English. This 'crystalline jumble', a 'disordered collection of magic lantern slides', John Ashbery writes, is the very root of modernity, 'still emitting pulses' of energy over a century after it was written. 'If we are absolutely modern - and we are - it's because Rimbaud commanded us to be.' Ashbery's rendering of the forty-four poems relays the kaleidoscopic dazzle of the original, a 'Splendide Hotel built amid the tangled heap of ice floes and the polar night', where the Witch 'will never tell us what she knows, and which we do not know'. This major new translation presents the French text in parallel and includes a preface by John Ashbery.