A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets

By John Pilling | Go to book overview

Paul Verlaine (1844-96)

Born in Metz, the only child of an army captain and a bourgeois mother who doted on him. Inspired to become a Poet by reading Baudelaire Les Fleurs du Mal in the year of its publication. Published his first collection, Poèmes saturniens, in 1866, by which time his dependence on alcohol, later to reach gargantuan proportions, was established, as were his bisexual tastes. Soon after the publication of his second collection (Fêtes galantes, 1869) he met the woman he was to marry, after a protracted courtship, in 1870. Worked halfheartedly in the administration of the Paris Commune. First met Rimbaud in 1871, after which he effectively abandoned his wife and child. Lived more or less turbulently with Rimbaud until 1873, when he fired a pistol at him, injuring Rimbaud's hand. Imprisoned in Belgium on a charge of attempted murder; reconfirmed his Catholicism whilst in prison at Mons. On release returned to England, which he had visited with Rimbaud, to teach French at Stickney Grammar School in Lincolnshire, where he struggled to remain sober and pious. At the time of the appearance of the volume Sagesse ( 1876) -- variously regarded as the culmination of his achievement and the beginning of his decline -- he was teaching at a private Catholic school in Bournemouth. Taught in the Ardennes, where he began a passionate friendship with a young male pupil who accompanied him to England. Having failed to find settled employment, he returned to provincial France and worked on the book which was ultimately to make Corbière, among others, famous: Les Poètes maudits ( 1884). After the death of his mother in 1886 he sought comfort from a series of motherly whores and became physi-

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A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 9
  • Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) 13
  • Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-98) 23
  • Paul Verlaine (1844-96) 32
  • Tristan Corbière (1845-75) 40
  • Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) 47
  • Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933) 56
  • Stefan George (1868-1933) 64
  • Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914) 73
  • Paul Valéry (1871-1945) 80
  • Hugo Von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) 88
  • Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) 97
  • Antonio Machado (1875-1939) 108
  • Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) 118
  • Aleksandr Blok (1880-1921) 127
  • Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958) 136
  • Umberto Saba (1883-1957) 143
  • Dino Campana (1885-1932) 150
  • Gottfried Benn (1886-1956) 158
  • Georg Trakl (1887-1914) 166
  • Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) 173
  • Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970) 181
  • Pierre Reverdy (1889-1960) 190
  • Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) 197
  • Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) 206
  • Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938 215
  • César Vallejo (1892-1938) 225
  • Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) 234
  • Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) 243
  • Paul Éluard (1895-1952) 259
  • Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) 266
  • Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) 276
  • Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) 284
  • Jorge Luis Borges (born 1899) 292
  • George Seferis (1900-71 ) 301
  • Salvatore Quasimodo (1901-68) 308
  • Lucio Piccolo (1901-69) 316
  • Attila József (1902-37) 324
  • Pablo Neruda (1904-73) 333
  • René Char (born 1907) 344
  • Cesare Pavese (1908-50) 351
  • Yannis Ritsos (born 1909) 360
  • Octavio Paz (born 1914) 368
  • Johannes Bobrowski (1917-65) 376
  • Paul Celan (1920-70) 383
  • Vasko Popa (born 1922) 392
  • Yves Bonnefoy (born 1923) 400
  • Yehuda Amichai (born 1924) 408
  • Zbigniew Herbert (born 1924) 416
  • Joseph Brodsky (born 1940) 424
  • Bibliographies 432
  • Index 461
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