Paul Verlaine



Paul Verlaine is buried in the Batignolles Cemetery, Paris, France, Europe.

Grave of Paul Verlaine

Verlaine published his first collection of poetry Poèmes Saturniens in 1866 and three further collections followed in 1869, 1870 and 1874. His early work was heavily influenced by Charles Baudelaire.

In 1870 he married Mathilde Mauté, who bore him a son. However, the following year he began a tumultuous homosexual relationship with fellow poet Arthur Rimbaud and in 1872 the two  ran away to Belgium together. While in Belgium, Rimbaud threatened to end their relationship and so Verlaine shot him in the wrist. Rimbaud did not press charges, however Verlaine was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison. While in prison he re-converted to Catholicism.

Paul Verlaine

Verlaine's work experimented with prosody and verse forms and opened the door for modernist French poets. He also wrote an important series of monographs of French poets entitled Les Poètes maudits (1884).

He was an influential member of the symbolist group along with poets such as Mallarmé and Laforgue.

Verlaine suffered from a life-long alcohol problem which exacerbated his already troubled relationships. In 1885 he was briefly sent to prison again for attempting to strangle his mother.

Several thousands mourners followed his funeral procession across the city of Paris on the 10th January 1896.

De La musique avant toute chose,
Et pour cela préfère L'Impair
Plus vague et plus slouble dans L'air,
Sans rien en lui qui pèse ou qui pose.

Art Poétique






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