The Poems of Rimbaud

Since I love writing poetry I am always interested in getting to know about other poets even those from a long time ago. I came across the name of this poet and thought I would share his story with you.

Arthur Rimbaud was born in Charleville, France on October 20, 1854. He grew up to become a brilliant student and had his first poem published in a French review at the age of 16. A year later he took off for Paris. During the Franco-Prussian War, he joined the National Guard but soon chose to wander about northern Paris and Belgium. Unfortunately, he was captured by the police and returned home.

Despite all that was happening Rimbaud continued to be inspired and wrote poetry. He felt that poets had to break through conventional morality and restraint to be able to explore the human experience. After sending some poems to Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine he was invited to visit with the poet and his wife in Paris.

Even though I am sure in those days homosexuality was not widely spoken about still Verlaine and Rimbaud became lovers. In 1872 Verlaine left his wife for the poet. That same year Rimbaud had his first book of poems “New Poems” published. After a quarrel and a fight in 1973, Verlaine shot Rimbaud in the wrist and received a two-year jail sentence.

I have always found that some of the most passionate poets and writers have had very stormy lives. Rimbaud published two more books “A Season in Hell” and “Illuminations”. Most of his best poems were written before he turned 20. He spent the last decade of his life roaming about Africa and the Middle East. Unfortunately, he contracted gangrene and died in Marseilles, France in 1891.


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