LE BATEAU IVRE (Rimbaud)
Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship,
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip,
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin’.
This verse recalls the poem “Le Bateau Ivre” (The Drunken Boat) written by Arthur Rimbaud. Dylan has often cited Rimbaud as a reference
“The Drunken Boat” is a 100-line verse-poem written in 1871 by the 16-year-old French poet under the sponsorship of another poet , Paul Verlaine, with whom he had a short and torrid affair.
It is written in the first person and the speaking voice is that of the drunken boat itself. The lyric describes the drifting and sinking of a boat lost at sea, after all of its passengers have been killed. The portrayal of the vessel’s erratic course, its assault by storms, the vast inhospitable surroundings, reflects the torment of the poet’s soul and is full of vivid imagery and symbolism.