BESIDE the glaring colours and hard outlines of the 'Parnassiens', the poetical world of Verlaine appears wrapt in misty lights and transparent shadows. For Leconte de Lisle and Hérédia the aesthetic charm lay in the exterior glow of beautiful things, for Verlaine in their inmost significance. Therefore he gave, with Mallarmé, a powerful impulse to bring about the transition from the 'Parnasse' to Symbolism. The result of the Parnassian technique is the nearest approach to painting; Verlaine's, to music; the work of the former school is a pageant of vivid dreams, that of the latter a set of melodies. He is rather a musician than a poet; he gives us arabesques instead of clear profiles, the emotion produced by the subject rather than its shape or hue. Nevertheless the influence of the 'Parnasse' lingers in his early poems; the pictorial style is manifest for instance in Caesar Borgia, a full-length portrait; the duke Caesar stands out from the dusky background of a rich vestibule, at the end of which glimmer the white marble busts of Horace and Tibullus; 'his black eyes, black hair and black velvet dress contrast with the sumptuous evening gold, with the dull, noble pallor of his face, furrowed with deep shades, according to the manner of Spanish and Venetian painters. And his forehead, full of formidable projects, broods under the cap, on which a feather quivers, springing out of a brooch of fiery rubies'.
There is a subtle toning of hues in his pictures, in which a chord of colours is developed into harmonies through almost imperceptible gradations. His poetical realm appears sometimes as a symbolical, shifting, intangible world; in Crépuscule du soir mystique, 'the Remembrance, blending with the Twilight, burns with a quivering red light on the glowing horizon of flaming Hope'; yet his images preserve their vitality, being in close union with life. As in the paintings of Eugène Carrière, the lines of the figures are blurred, but their emotional power is intense; he says, in Mon rêve familier: 'Her name? I remember that it is sweet and sonorous, as the names of people whom I loved, now exiled from Life. Her look is like the look of statues, and in her remote, calm and grave voice she has the inflexions of voices now hushed in death, and once so dear to me '.
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Olivero, Federico. "Studies in Modern Poetry: Paul Verlaine:Page1." La Nouvelle Décadence. 1921. < http://webspace .webring.com/people/tl/lanouvelledecadence/verbiooli01.html >.
Olivero, Federico. "Studies in Modern Poetry: Paul Verlaine:Page1." La Nouvelle Décadence. Available from http://webspace.webring.com /people/tl/lanouvelledecadence/verbiooli01.html. Internet; accessed .
Olivero, Federico. "Studies in Modern Poetry: Paul Verlaine :Page1." 1921.http://webspace.webring.com/people/tl /lanouvelledecadence/verbiooli01.html (accessed ).
AUTHOR: Olivero, Federico (1921).
TITLE OF WEBPAGE: "Studies in Modern Poetry: Paul Verlaine:Page1".
TITLE OF WEBSITE: La Nouvelle Décadence.
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