Paul Verlaine


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Verlaine, Paul

(pōl vĕrlĕn`), 1844–96, French poet. He gained some notice with the Parnassian poetry of Poèmes saturniens (1866) and Fêtes galantes (1869) and became a figure in the bohemian literary world of Paris. Verlaine's turbulent marriage broke up as a result of his liaison with his young protégé, Arthur RimbaudRimbaud, Arthur
, 1854–91, French poet who had a great influence on the symbolists and subsequent modern poets, b. Charleville. A defiant and precocious youth, Rimbaud at 16 sent some poems to Verlaine, who liked his work and invited him to Paris.
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. The two poets traveled in Belgium and England; their relationship ended in tragedy when Verlaine shot and wounded Rimbaud and was imprisoned in Belgium for two years. In prison he was brought back to the Catholic faith of his childhood and wrote some noble religious poetry that appeared in Sagesse (1881). From that time also dates his Romances sans paroles (1874), which shows Verlaine as one of the first of the symbolistssymbolists,
in literature, a school originating in France toward the end of the 19th cent. in reaction to the naturalism and realism of the period. Designed to convey impressions by suggestion rather than by direct statement, symbolism found its first expression in poetry but
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. The sensitive appreciation of the common incidents and sights of life and the haunting and simple music of his verse, combined with the melancholy and unreal disillusion of the decadents, distinguish his poetry. More striking, however, is the candor of Verlaine himself. Through the degrading incidents of his later life, which was marked by drunkenness, poverty, and debauchery, he preserved his honesty and inverted naïveté. Jadis et Naguère (1884) and Parallèlement (1889) were perhaps the best of his later volumes of poetry. Of his prose works the only one of importance is Les Poètes maudits (1884), sketches of his fellow symbolists, particularly Mallarmé and Rimbaud.

Verlaine, Paul

 

Born Mar. 30, 1844, in Metz; died Jan. 8, 1896, in Paris. French poet. Born into an officer’s family.

Verlaine began to write under the influence of the Parnassians, but he was also influenced by the romantics and C. Baudelaire. Verlaine was one of the founders of the symbolist movement. In his Poems of Saturn (1866) and Gallant Feasts (1869), along with the severely sculpted images done in the manner of the Parnassians, there also appeared melodious, melancholic, throbbing poems that were particularly characteristic of him. In his book of verse The Good Song (1870), Verlaine brought the lexicon and syntax of poetic language close to that of simple conversation. In 1871, Verlaine did not subordinate himself to the Versailles Group but instead remained in Paris and served in the press bureau of the Paris Commune. After the “bloody week” he lived mainly in the provinces until 1877, although he went on a trip to Belgium and England. In 1874, Verlaine published a book of verse entitled Songs Without Words, which to a great extent defined the aesthetics of symbolism. Intimate and unpretentious little songs were interspersed with poems that conveyed symbolically and by means of a minor-key resonance and rhythm an objectless sorrow and submissiveness to the sorrow. In his poem Poetic Art, Verlaine half jokingly advised that poets should strive after those qualities of vagueness, nuance, and musicality of verse that entice the imagination. His collections of poetry Formerly and Lately (1884) and In Parallel (1889), as well as his essays on A. Rimbaud, S. Mallarmé, and others (The Accursed Poets, 1884), have double meanings. At this point there is a strengthening of decadent tendencies, but at the same time the poet warns his new followers against decadent extremes. He also published revolutionary verses (the narrative poem The Vanquished in the collection Formerly and Lately). “The most intimate of poets,” in the words of V. Ia. Briusov, Verlaine was more humane than the other French symbolists; he enriched poetry with a refined lyricism and gave it an intense, musical expressiveness. He died in poverty.

WORKS

Oeuvres complètes, vols. 1-2. Text established by H. de Bouillane de Lacoste and J. Borel. Paris, 1959-60.
Correspondance, vols. 1-3. Paris, 1927-29.
In Russian translation:
Stikhi, 2nd ed. Translated by F. Sologub. Moscow-Petrograd, 1923.
Sobr. stikhov. Translated by V. Briusov. Moscow, 1911.
Izbr. stikhotvoreniia. Compiled by P. N. Petrovskii. Moscow, 1912.
Izbr. stikhotvoreniia. Moscow, 1915.
[Stikhi.] In Zvezdnoe nebo: Stikhi zarubezhnykh poetov. Translated by B. Pasternak. Moscow, 1966.
[Stikhi.] In Ten’ derev’ev: Stikhi zarubezhnykh poetov. Translated by I. Ehrenburg. Moscow, 1969.
Lirika. Compiled by E. Etkind. Moscow, 1969.

REFERENCES

Gorky, M. “Pol’ Verlen i dekadenty.” Sobr. soch., vol. 23. Moscow, 1953.
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Bornecque, J. H. Verlaine par lui-même. Paris, 1966.
Lepelletier, E. Paul Verlaine: Sa vie, son oeuvre. Paris, 1907.
Richer, J. Paul Verlaine. Paris, 1967.
Bever, A. van. Bibliographie et iconographie de Paul Verlaine. Paris, 1926.
Tournoux, G. A. Bibliographie verlainienne. Leipzig, 1912.

N. I. BALASHOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Despues, junto con el otro discipulo Le Rouge, forjo el bello Les derniers jours de Paul Verlaine, libro que vale una muerte.
Rimerlain: French poets Arthur Rimbaud and the Paul Verlaine had a short-lived, torrid romance involving buckets of booze, drugs, and ultimately, bullets.
Starting at 1pm, it will include music Haydn's Scena di Berenice, Faure's Paul Verlaine Songs, Mandoline and En Sourdine, Ravel's Cinq Melodies populaires grecques as well as many more.
IN 1873, when French poet Arthur Rimbaud was staying in London with his more famous lover Paul Verlaine, the spark-striking and strategically untruthful nineteen-year-old added two years to his age so that he could pass through a set of doors normally closed to minors.
Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Vincent van Gogh and Oscar Wilde were all notorious "bad men" of that day thought to be devotees of the tipple, also known as the Green Fairy.
Paul Verlaine, (Euvres poetiques completes (Paris: Gallimard, 1962) 191.
El rostro del poeta frances Arthur Rimbaud, en cambio, es muy conocido --los dos daguerrotipos de Etienne Carjat forman parte del imaginario del siglo XX--, pero se trata de un personaje tan legendario (la encarnacion misma del genio poetico), y los retratos que se le hicieron en vida son tan escasos (menos de medio centenar, incluyendo la veintena de caricaturas con que Paul Verlaine ilustro otras tantas cartas) que cada nuevo atisbo de su aspecto necesariamente cautiva la atencion.
This first issue, dedicated entirely to the poetry of Paul Verlaine, includes a wonderful collection of melodies by Reynaldo Hahn, Gabriel Faure, Claude Debussy and Andre Mathieu.
The mystery of Verlaine -- who long ago changed his family name of ``Miller'' to the surname of the tortured 19th century French poet and symbolist Paul Verlaine -- is so pervasive, its maintenance apparently requires little effort from the man himself.
For calculatedly unconventional figures such as Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Alfred Jarry, Oscar Wilde, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, absinthe was a symbol as well as an intoxicant.