"The poet is a madman lost in adventure Who restlessly dreams of ancient battles Of countless exploits, that he makes his own And sings for himself and for the race of the future." Paul Verlaine

1844-96, French Symbolist poet

His poetry, possesses a rare musicality. While still a young man, Verlaine formed a tempestuous liaison with a young poet, Arthur Rimbaud. The relationship ended tragically when Verlaine shot and wounded Rimbaud. Imprisoned for 2 years, he returned to the Catholic faith, but his later life was marked by drunkenness and debauchery. This included a significant interest in L'absinth.

He had a strong friendship with Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarmé. Together they became the "Decadents".


Also see:

Source: http://members.tripod.com/RoadSide6/verlaine.htm http://www.flf.com/total/poets.htm Last Updated 05.13.04

In Aleister Crowley's novel,Diary of a Drug Fiend, appears a poem by Paul Verlaine in BOOK III-PURGATORIO, chapter II, First Aid. The poem is titled "With Muted Strings". Here is the passage from it.

"'Calm in the twilight of the lofty boughs
Pierce we our love with silence as we drowse;

Melt we our sould, hearts, senses in this shrine,

Vague languor of arbutus and of pine!

'Half-close your eyes, your arms upon your breast;

Banish for ever every interest!

The cradling breeze shall woo us, soft and sweet,

Ruffling the waves of velvet at your feet.'

'When the solemn night of swart oaks shall prevail

Voice our despair, musical nightingale!'"

I figure since I like the passage following this poem in the book, I would add it on here as well.

"...The exquisite images, so subtle and yet so concrete, filled my mind with memories of all my boyhood's dreams. They reminded me of the possibilities of lov and peace. All this was familiar to me, familiar in the most intense and alluring form. That was what nature had to offer; this pure and ecstatic rapture was the birthright of mankind. But I, instead of being content with it as it was, had sought an artificial Paradise and bartered the reality of heaven for it. In nature, even melancholy is subtly enthralling..."

I recommend you read this book if you've found this little bit of it interesting.

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