How simple and yet how subtle is the music of this poem — music that had lain for centuries dormant in the French language, and this music that some dead singer should have sung sounds strange in modern speech.
The whole man — his poetry, his life, his literary success, and his failure — is contained in an all-embracing sense of his own unworthiness; he keeps it continually before you; he tells you of it in a hundred different ways, for he is the most personal of poets. He writes of nothing but himself; his own life is his only theme. Sometimes he confides it by a personal narrative, sometimes it assumes some slight and obvious disguisement. His un worthiness is all he has to tell you, and it is most affecting, for it is the whole man. The conversation I had with him in his astonishing lodging, Cour Saint François, 6, Hôtel du Midi, swept away any doubts of the sincerity of his art which till then had lingered in my mind. He spoke of his miserable condition, but without adjectives or emphasis — just as the old woman in the ballade might have done; he deplored the discomfort that the lack of the very smallest sums of money involved, but without even suggesting that after all it was a man of genius who suffered. I remember we spoke of Tennyson. Verlaine knows English very well, and he deeply regretted that he had not the necessary money to take him straight to Lord Tennyson, so that he might obtain permission to publish a volume of translations. I went to the Macmillans, and asked them if the matter could be arranged, but I heard no more of it. Lord Tennyson has, therefore, missed being translated by one who is greater than he; and to convince Lord Tennyson of his loss I have only to quote one sonnet from a set of sonnets, each one of which is great even as Milton's sonnets are great:
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Moore, George. "Impressions and opinions: A Great Poet (Verlaine) :Page4." 1913.http://webspace.webring.com/people/tl /lanouvelledecadence/verbiomoo04.html (accessed ).
AUTHOR: Moore, George (1913).
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