Biography of Paul Verlaine
Paul-Marie Verlaine (30 March 1844 – 8 January 1896) was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.
Born in Metz, he was educated at the Lycée impérial Bonaparte (now the Lycée Condorcet) in Paris and then took up a post in the civil service. He began writing poetry at an early age, and was initially influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Leconte de Lisle. Verlaine's first published poem was published in 1863 in La Revue du progrès, a publication founded by poet Louis-Xavier de Ricard. Verlaine was a frequenter of the salon of the Marquise de Ricard at 10 Boulevard des Batignolles and other social venues, where he rubbed shoulders with prominent artistic figures of the day: Anatole France; Emmanuel Chabrier; inventor-poet and humorist Charles Cros; the cynical anti-bourgeois idealist Villiers de l'Isle-Adam; Theodore de Banville; François Coppée; Jose-Maria de Heredia; Leconte de Lisle; Catulle Mendes, and others. Verlaine's first published collection, Poèmes saturniens, though adversely commented upon by Sainte-Beuve, established him as a poet of promise and originality.
Paul Verlaine Poems
The Young Fools (Les Ingénus)
High-heels were struggling with a full-length dress So that, between the wind and the terrain, At times a shining stocking would be seen, And gone too soon. We liked that foolishness.
With long sobs the violin-throbs of autumn wound my heart with languorous
Clair De Lune
Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair, Peopled with maskers delicate and dim, That play on lutes and dance and have an air
Il Pleure Dans Mon Coeur
Il pleure dans mon coeur Comme il pleut sur la ville. Quelle est cette langueur Qui pénêtre mon coeur ?
Your soul is like a painter's landscape where charming masks in shepherd mummeries are playing lutes and dancing with an air of being sad in their fantastic guise.
Leaf-strewing gales Utter low wails Like violins,-- Till on my soul
A Une Femme
To you these lines for the consoling grace Of your great eyes wherein a soft dream shines,
See, blossoms, branches, fruit, leaves I have brought, And then my heart that for you only sighs;
It weeps in my heart As it rains on the town. What is this dull smart Possessing my heart?
In the deserted park, silent and vast, Erewhile two shadowy glimmering figures passed.
Birds In The Night
You were not over-patient with me, dear; This want of patience one must rightly rate: You are so young! Youth ever was severe
Tears Fall In My Heart
Tears fall in my heart Rain falls on the town; what is this numb hurt that enters my heart?...
The keyboard, over which two slim hands float, Shines vaguely in the twilight pink and gray, Whilst with a sound like wings, note after note
Heavy, My Despair
Oh, heavy, heavy my despair, Because, because of One so fair.
A Une Femme
To you these lines for the consoling grace
Of your great eyes wherein a soft dream shines,
For your pure soul, all-kind!-to you these lines
From the black deeps of mine unmatched distress.
'Tis that the hideous dream that doth oppress
My soul, alas! its sad prey ne'er resigns,
But like a pack of wolves down mad inclines
Goes gathering heat upon my reddened trace!