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Verlaine & Rimbaud

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Emily Grecco

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of Verlaine & Rimbaud

Symbolism Paul-Marie Verlaine The Ordinary Early life of Paul Verlaine Born on March 30th, 1844
Family moved to Paris in 1851, age 7
Paul enrolled in Lycée impérial Bonaparte
Entered civil service at 17
Sparked an interest of English in college
Married Mathilde Mauté de Fleurville happily in 1870. Soon after marriage, they had a child
Happily married, writing many poems about Mathilde UNTIL.... The Notorious Life of Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud October 20th, 1854 born in Charleville, in the Ardennes
-Parents: Frederic Rimbaud, an infantry captain;
-Vitalie Cuif married in 1853
-Arthur had an elder brother Frederic, and two sisters, Vitalie and Isabelle *Decadent movement*
Prefigure of surrealism
Family left to fend for themselves after their father joined the Regiment and never returned
Arthur and his brother entered the Rossat Institute, and later, in 1865 Charleville College
- Brilliant, model pupil in school
-In 1869, he won the first prize in an academic contest for Ver Erat, The Angel and The Child, and Jugurtha. Imagery Paul Verlaine & Arthur Rimbaud Emily Grecco A poet of the Symbolism Era Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud "The man was tall, well-built, almost athletic, with the perfectly oval face of an angel in exile, with untidy light brown hair and eyes of a disturbing pale blue" – Paul Verlaine "Intelligent, as much as you want, but he has eyes and a smile which I do not like. He will come to a bad end. In any case, nothing banal will germinate in that head. He will be the genius for good or evil!" Continuous life of the Trouble Maker In 1871, France waged war against Prussia.
On August 29th, he ran away to Paris.
October 7th he ran away to Belgium…then to Brussels. Then his mother asked the police to bring him home
1871,he ran away one more time to Paris by train The Commune broke out in Paris on March 18th. He expressed his feelings in poems, while becoming rebellious and anarchist and violent. Started to drink and enjoy himself and behave scandalously. The Adventures of Verlaine and Rimbaud Wrote to the poet Paul Verlaine and sent him some poems. Charmed, Verlaine invited him to Paris: "Come, dear great soul, you are called, you are awaited". In Mid-September, Rimbaud went to Paris with his poem, The Drunken Boat
As we know, Verlaine was married to the rich girl of a middle class man, Mathilde Maute de Fleurville, and was living in his parents-in-law’s homeFamily was unhappy with RimbaudVerlaine subsequently returned to drinking and spent most of his time hanging about with Rimbaud. Zutist Circle of poets.
Their relationship was a scandal. Verlaine's wife fled with their son
Verlaine wanted to be a father.. so he promised his wife he would break off relationship with Rimbaud - yet couldn't deny him when he asked Verlaine to accompany him to Brussels
Mathilde went with them and tried to convince her husband to come home but Verlaine abandoned her at the station - yet again!
She then went back to Paris and filed for a legal seperation Rimbaud and Verlaine’s strange love affair begun to be known in the Communard circle of London, and they were expelled.
Verlaine was worried about his own reputation and losing the case against his wife. He and Rimbaud began to fight physically.
One day, in the midst of a heated argument, Verlaine fired two shots from a revolver at Rimbaud, hitting him once in the wrist.
Verlaine was sent to the prison of Petites-Carmes for two years "Verlaine, I think we should just be friends" While Verlaine was in jail, Rimbaud fell into debt
Rimbaud gave the manuscript of the one of his most famous manuscripts, Illuminations, to Verlaine to have it published. They would never see each other again.
Rimbaud died of cancer in the right knee at the age of 37 on 10th November, 1891Verlaine died of alcoholism at the age of 52 on January 8th, 1896 Uses the auditory and visual senses to bring the audience to the scene and to evoke a mood. "The Sky is Just Beyond the Roof" Line 2: “The sky…/ So blue, so calm
-Blue is the universal color of peace.
Line 4: “A treetop…/Rocks its slow palm”
-The wind naturally rocks the tree- CALM
Line 7:“A bird on the tree…/ Plaintively sings”
-Nature
Line 11: “This peaceful murmur that I hear comes from the street!”
-Society Imagery in "The Sleeper of the Valley" Line 2: “Silvering the torn grass & glittering flight”
Line 5: “A soldier young, with open mouth, bare head”
Line 6: “Dewy watercress”
Line 12: “The perfume”
Line 14: "...with two red holes in his right side" The practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character The Sky is Just Beyond the Roof *Verlaine wrote this poem when he was in prison for the shooting of Rimbaud. Imagine that the speaker is looking out the barred window of his cell, over the roof of the prison, at the clear blue sky. * Line 1: “The sky is just beyond the roof”Sky representing freedom; roof representing prison (physically or maybe the prison of his mind?)Line 5: “The chime in the sky that I see distantly rings” Church, religion, GodLine 9: “My God, my God, but life is there,” There actually is life beyond the prison. Line 11: “This peaceful murmur that I hear comes from the street"
There are people outside. They seem so close, but in reality, since he is in prison, they are so far away.Line 13-17: “What have you done, you who stand here, in tears and ruth? Say, what have you done, you who are here, with your lost youth?” Regretful of this mindless shooting of his friend. Lost chance at enjoying his youth. Question 1 The Sky is Just Beyond the Roof is a poem that Verlaine wrote in prison for the shooting of his lover, Arthur Rimbaud. In this poem, Verlaine is clearly able to express positive outlooks regardless of the fact that he is in prison. Do we always have a choice of how to feel, no matter what the situation is? Or do some things inevitably mean unhappiness? Use textual evidence The Sleeper of the Valley Line 5: “A soldier young, with an open mouth, bare head.”Youthful, bare, has not lived life yetLine 6: “Sleeps with his neck in the dewy watercress, under the sky and on the grass his bed” & Line 9: “…and his smile is like a sick child’s slumbering for a while” Sleep=death. His bed=his coffinLine 8: “Pale in the deep green and the light’s excess”Lifeless, corpses are pale and motionlessLine 11: “Nature, in thy warm lap his chilled limbs hide!”Now that he is dead, his soon to decompose body will be apart of the earth/nature. Line 12: “The perfume does not thrill him from his rest”He is sleeping and inert so he cannot enjoy the smells and beauty of nature. Question 2 In The Sleeper of the Valley, we learn, at the end, that the young soldier has been dead all along, yet beautiful images were still being described. There is a famous quote, If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? So, if the soldier is dead, are the things described in the poem still beautiful, or can’t they be beautiful without someone to see them? Quote Surprise Question How does the last stanza of each poem represent the author’s personality? “The perfume does not thrill him from his rest. He sleeps in sunshine, hand upon his breast. Tranquil- with two red holes in his right side” – Arthur Rimbaud Vocab ♥chime - an apparatus for striking a bell so as to produce a musical sound, as one at the front door of a house by which visitors announce their presence.
plaintively – expressing sorrow or melancholy; mournful
♥ruth – remorse; sorrow ♥
watercress – a white-flowered plant, growing generally in running water Thesis Statement In "The Sky is Just Beyond the Roof" and "The Sleeper of the Valley", both Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud utilize symbolism into their poems to allude to their personal devastation and their depressive views of the world.
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