Paul Verlaine – Symbolical “Fake Poet”
Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) was yet another “fake poet” from the closest circle of symbolists. He had a turbulent family and personal life: gentleness and conflict with his wife, love and conflict with Arthur Rimbaud, leaving the family, long periods of alcoholism, bohemian life, misery. He started writing early. he was very fruitful (twenty books), he looked into several genres, but the poetry was his basic literary form. Poetry is always in the foreground, the thought comes later and optional. He is fostering a wide range of subjects, his poems are very sensual and gentle, melancholy and mystic, in recent years, extremely religious.
He insists on the euphony (musicality) of the verse – “music – out of everything,” rhythmic and musicality are the recognizable properties of Verlaine’s lyricism. Verlaine is simple and understandable. He was not famous for a long time, it was only in 1885, and he soon became famous poet. The real estimate of his poetry came only after his death.
The most important works: Sometimes and recently (1884), Love (1888), Women (1890), Intimate liturgies (1892), Elegy and went to her honor (1893), Epigrams (1894), My hospitals (1891), My closings (1893), Confessions (1895).
Paul Verlaine was born March 30, 1844 in Metz. He was a French writer who enriched poetry with a new musicality, and a lyrical expression with new nuances. His poem “Poetry” is accepted as a manifest of symbolism. It belonged to Baudelaire’s circle of symbolists. When a manifest of symbolism was published in 1886, Verlaine had already entered the language and moods of impressionism. Verlaine did not surpass Baudelaire, he did not even reach it, but he indicated new poetic moods that would crystallize as impressionism, as is noted in his song “Moonlight”. Verlaine’s personality figures say that he was a man in constant human and poetic falls and take-offs, a man without moral firmness and order in creation, a labile personality, incalculable and eccentric. In his life, he asked for mud and gnawed him with pleasure, and then repentantly returned from sin to holiness and purity, so that after a while he would begin everything from the beginning. In his poetry, the transformation of poetry into the direction of decadence and symbolism can be followed. His poetry is important for the development of a free, music-rich poetry, especially in the collection “Romance without a word” (1874). The first verse of his song “The Art of Singing” is: “Music first of all”.
He died in Paris on January 8, 1896.