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Paul Verlaine: Arthur Rimbaud, Page 3
by Harold Nicolson (1921).

Je m'em allais, les poings dans mes poches crevées ;
Mon paletot aussi devenait idéal ;
J'allais sous le ciel, Muse, et j'étais ton féal.
Oh là là, que d'amours splendides j'ai rêvées !

It was not long, however, before the bitter acid of his temperament ate deeply into his poetical style: he became tortuous, obscure, brutal: he stamped exultingly upon the beauties and decencies of everyday convention: there was only one ideal—force and independence: the rest was literature. Take, for instance, "Mes Petites Amoureuses," written when he was still sixteen:

Un hydrolat lacrymal lave
Les cieux vert-choux,
Sous l'arbre tendronnier qui bave
Vos caoutchoucs.

Blancs de lunes particulières
Aux pialats ronds,
Entrechoquez vos genouillères,
Mes laiderons ! . . .

O mes petites amoureuses,
Que je vous hais !
Plaquez de fouffes douloureuses
Vos tétons laids !

Piétinez mes vieilles terrines
De sentiment ;
Hop donc, soyez-moi ballerines
Pour un moment !

In May 1871 Rimbaud, for the fourth time in six months, left his home and walked to Paris, where he flung himself into the Communist cause and fought as a soldier of the proletariat. At the entry of the Versaillais he managed to escape and in June he again returned to Charleville. From here he sent some of his verses to Verlaine, who at once hailed him as a genius and invited him to come at once to Paris. "You may be sure," he wrote, "that we shall make you welcome. Come at once."

PAGE 3 OF 21.

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