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Verlaine and Rimbaud

Verlaine and Rimbaud

Verlaine and Rimbaud

In 1871, Arthur Rimbaud – a budding young poet – (aged 16) travelled to Paris at the invitation of Paul Verlaine (a highly regarded French Symbolist Poet). When Rimbaud arrived in Paris, Verlaine fell in love with him and the two began a turbulent relationship which lead to the breakup of Verlaine’s marriage. During absinthe and hashish influenced nights, the two scandalized Paris with their obscene behaviour and violence. At one point, whilst drunk on Absinthe, Rimbaud stabbed Verlaine in the hand. The two moved to England and eventually Brussels. On the morning of 10 July, Verlaine bought a revolver and ammunition. That afternoon, “in a drunken rage,” Verlaine fired two shots at Rimbaud, one of them wounding the 18-year-old in the left wrist. Eventually Rimbaud asked the police to arrest Verlaine, and he was sent to jail for two years. The two met again only once and at age 21, Rimbaud stopped writing. He is now considered to be one of the most influential French poets in history.