Stéphane Mallarmé worked as a lycée teacher at Tournon, Avignon and then Paris. His salon in the Rue de Rome became a rendezvous for young writers during the last fifteen years of his life. He was a friend of Degas. His verse often experiments with dislocated punctuation and grammar.
The flesh is sad, Alas! and I have read all the books.
Let’s go! Far off. Let’s go! I sense
that the birds, intoxicated, fly
deep into unknown spume and sky!
These nymphs, I would perpetuate them.
Their crimson flesh that hovers there, light
All at once, as if in play,
Mademoiselle, she who moots
a wish to hear how it sounds today
the wood of my several flutes
Her pure nails sprung up exalting their onyx,
Anxiety, this midnight, bearing light, sustains,
In twilight many dreams burnt up by the Phoenix