Paul Verlaine

Paul Verlaine (March 30, 1844 – January 8, 1896)

Early Life and Education:

  • Born in Metz, France, on March 30, 1844, to Nicolas-Auguste Verlaine, a military officer, and Élisabeth-Adélaïde Dehée, a devout Catholic.
  • Attended the prestigious Lycée Bonaparte in Paris, where he excelled in literature and poetry.
  • His early influences included the works of Charles Baudelaire, Théophile Gautier, and François Coppée.

Literary Career:

  • First collection of poems, "Poèmes Saturniens" (1866), reflected his fascination with the Decadent movement.
  • Associated with the group of poets known as the "Poètes maudits" ("Accursed Poets"), which included Arthur Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Tristan Corbière.
  • Published his most famous collection, "Romances sans paroles" (1874), which showcased his innovative use of rhythm and free verse.
  • Notorious for his stormy and passionate relationship with fellow poet Arthur Rimbaud, which inspired some of his most intense and lyrical works.

Later Life and Struggles:

  • Verlaine's life was marked by personal and legal challenges, including struggles with alcoholism, poverty, and mental illness.
  • In 1873, he was convicted of attempted murder of Rimbaud and served two years in prison.
  • Upon his release, he converted to Catholicism and attempted to lead a more stable life, publishing several more collections of poetry.
  • However, his health and financial situation continued to deteriorate, and he died in a Paris hospital in 1896 at the age of 51.


  • Verlaine is considered one of the most important figures in French literature and a pioneer of the Symbolist movement.
  • His poetry is known for its musicality, emotional intensity, and use of rich imagery and symbolism.
  • His influence can be seen in the works of later poets, including Guillaume Apollinaire, T.S. Eliot, and Hart Crane.
  • His most famous poems include "Clair de lune" ("Moonlight"), "Chanson d'automne" ("Autumn Song"), and "Art poétique" ("Poetic Art").
  • Verlaine's poetry has been translated into numerous languages and continues to be widely read and studied around the world.
Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine