Selected Poems in Translation

Selected Poems in Translation

by Paul Verlaine, A. S. Kline

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Overview

This wide selection of over seventy of Verlaine's poems has been chosen from his major collections of verse. Verlaine has been considered as a member of both the Symbolist and Decadent movements, and though he exhibits elements of both, his poetry is in truth unclassifiable. His content is always suggestive and lyrical rather than rhetorical or didactic, and the form is musical and often innovative. Much of the delicate and inimitable charm of Verlaine's art depends on setting, mood, nuance and veiled allusiveness. The nature of his poetry is to create an, often wistful and nostalgic, arena of light and shade, where the dreaming mind can invoke memory, the past, illusion and delusion, beauty and muted emotion. Nevertheless Verlaine's art is anything but febrile or simplistic. A fierce intelligence is at work behind the quiet and theatrical façade, and no poet has ever come closer to achieving the tender dreamlike state he succeeds in conveying. His melodious verse has often been set to music, notably by Debussy and Fauré.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940162146391
Publisher: Poetry in Translation
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 895,630
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Paul-Marie Verlaine (1844-1896) was born in Metz and educated in Paris. His first collection of verse was published in 1866, followed by subsequent well-received collections. After a brief military service he became involved in the radical Paris Commune of 1871, though avoiding the final bloodshed of that short-lived insurrection. Between 1871 and 1873 he was involved in an intense relationship with the poet Arthur Rimbaud, which ended with Verlaine shooting Rimbaud in a jealous rage, and wounding the latter poet. As a consequence Verlaine was imprisoned at Mons, where he underwent a conversion to Roman Catholicism, which strongly influenced his later and somewhat more maudlin poetry. After his release from prison, he taught French and other languages in England until 1877, becoming involved there with one of his pupils, whose later death in 1883 affected him deeply. Verlaine’s later life involved alcoholism, drug addiction and poverty, and he lived in slums and public hospitals, writing poetry in the Paris cafes. Rediscovery of his poetry led to a degree of fame, and a greater appreciation among fellow poets. His personal problems and addictions took a severe toll on him, and he died, at the age of 51, in Paris.

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