Verlaine, Paul (1844 - 1896)


Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) as a youthful poet frequented the coterie of Leconte de Lisle where his verses were favourably received. Shortly after his marriage in 1870, Verlaine met Arthur Rimbaud, and in 1872 he abandoned his wife and child and went away with the young poet to Belgium and England. After a quarrel in which Rimbaud was shot and wounded, Verlaine was imprisoned for two years. At this time he sincerely repented his rather sordid past, but after his release he soon fell back into the old ways and died of acute alcoholism. The poetry of Verlaine is outstanding because of its evocative melancholy and its delicate effects. The musical quality of the verse and the elusive sensations it conveys are instantly appealing.

  • "Paul Verlaine." Representative French Poetry. Ed. Victor E. Graham. 2nd edn. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965. 95-100.
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Birth Date: 
March 30, 1844
Death Date: 
January 8, 1896



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