Henri Michaux

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Henri Michaux

in Belgium
May 24, 1899

October 18, 1984


Henri Michaux was a highly idiosyncratic Belgian poet, writer and painter who wrote in the French language. Michaux is best known for his esoteric books written in a highly accessible style, and his body of work includes poetry, travelogues, and art criticism. Michaux travelled widely, tried his hand at several careers, and experimented with drugs, the latter resulting in two of his most intriguing works, Miserable Miracle and The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones.

Average rating: 4.03 · 1,627 ratings · 133 reviews · 107 distinct worksSimilar authors
Darkness Moves: An Henri Mi...

4.36 avg rating — 244 ratings — published 1994 — 5 editions
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Miserable Miracle

4.17 avg rating — 151 ratings — published 1956 — 4 editions
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Selected Writings

4.26 avg rating — 111 ratings — published 1948 — 2 editions
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A Barbarian in Asia

3.54 avg rating — 188 ratings — published 1933 — 19 editions
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Plume précédé de Lointain i...

3.82 avg rating — 116 ratings — published 1930 — 11 editions
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La nuit remue

4.24 avg rating — 67 ratings — published 1935
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Tent Posts

4.48 avg rating — 66 ratings — published 1971 — 5 editions
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Ideograms in China

4.11 avg rating — 53 ratings — published 1975 — 6 editions
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Stroke by Stroke

4.07 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 2006
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Ecuador: A Travel Journal

3.75 avg rating — 51 ratings — published 1970 — 7 editions
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More books by Henri Michaux…
“He who has rejected his demons badgers us to death with his angels”
Henri Michaux

“It is preferable not to travel with a dead man.”
Henri Michaux

“I AM ROWING (a hex poem)

i have cursed your forehead, your belly, your life
i have cursed the streets your steps plod through
the things your hands touch
i have cursed the inside of your dreams

i have placed a puddle in your eye so that you cant see anymore
an insect in your ear so that you cant hear anymore
a sponge in your brain so that you cant understand

i have frozen you in the soul of your body
iced you in the depths of your life
the air you breathe suffocates you
the air you breathe has the air of a cellar
is an air that has already been exhaled
been puffed out by hyenas

the dung of this air is something no one can breathe
your skin is damp all over
your skin sweats out waters of great fear
your armpits reak far and wide of the crypt

animals drop dead as you pass
dogs howl at night their heads raised toward your house
you cant run away
you cant muster the strength of an ant to the tip of your feet

your fatigue makes a lead stump in your body
your fatigue is a long caravan
your fatigue stretches out to the country of nan
your fatigue is inexpressible

your mouth bites you
your nails scratch you
no longer yours, your wife
no longer yours, your brother
the sole of his foot bitten by an angry snake

someone has slobbered on your descendents
someone has drooled in the mouth of your laughing little girl
someone has walked by slobbering all over the face of your domain

the world moves away from you

i am rowing

i am rowing

i am rowing against your life

i am rowing

i split into countless rowers
to row more strongly against you

you fall into blurriness
you are out of breath
you get tired before the slightest effort

i row

i row

i row

you go off drunk tied to the tail of a mule
drunkenness like a huge umbrella that darkens the sky
and assembles the flies

dizzy drunkenness of the semicircular canals
unnoticed beginnings of hemiplegia

drunkeness no longer leaves you
lays you out to the left
lays you out to the right
lays you out on the stony ground of the path

i row
i row
i am rowing against your days

you enter the house of suffering

i row
i row

on a black blinfold your life is unfolding
on the great white eye of a one eyed horse
your future is unrolling

Henri Michaux
tags: a-hex



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