20 October 2017 Susannah

Arthur Rimbaud – French poet, born on 20 October 1854

Arthur Rimbaud quote by Susannah Fullerton

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Arthur Rimbaud, born 20 October 1854

“Life is the farce which everyone has to perform.”

Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud aged 17

Rimbaud is the ‘bad boy’ of French literature. He was incredibly precocious and wrote his great poems while still a teenager. However, he was also a rebel, flicking lice from his hair on to passing priests, enjoying a wild affair with Paul Verlaine and seducing him from his wife and child, and prefiguring surrealism in his highly unusual images and style.

I have visited the fabulous Rimbaud Museum in an old mill across a river in Charleville-Mézières in France. Don’t miss it if you are in that part of the world. After giving up poetry before he was 20, Rimbaud then travelled and led a restless life before dying from cancer just before his 37th birthday.

A French man once recited Le Bateau Ivre (The Drunken Boat) to me and it was as mesmerizing as Rimbaud’s eyes. I also love his poem Voyelles (Vowels) which pictures each vowel as a different colour. If you want to know more about Rimbaud, there is an excellent biography by Graham Robb which I can recommend.

Arthur Rimbaud died on 10 November 1891 at the age of 37.

Tell me your thoughts in the comment area below.

   Rimbaud: A Biography by Graham Robb

I only recommend books I have read and know. Some of these links are my affiliate links. If you buy a book by clicking on one of these links I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but does help cover the cost of producing my free newsletter.

 

Leave a comment.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until approved.
Body image credit- Arthur Rimbaud at the age of seventeen, by Étienne Carjat, c. 1872. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13053586

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)