"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".
Last Updated 05.13.04