Page 3, 2nd January 1959

2nd January 1959
Page 3
Page 3, 2nd January 1959 — France's prince of poets

Report an error

Noticed an error on this page?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it.


Locations: London


Related articles

Highlife In A Chosen Exile

Page 6 from 13th December 1991

Rome Licences Poetic Outcasts

Page 1 from 23rd February 1996

An Original For Dorian Gray'

Page 10 from 12th June 1992

Academic Stuffymindedness

Page 4 from 10th July 1936


Page 13 from 27th July 1935

France's prince of poets

'VERLAINE. by Lawrence and Elizabeth Hanson (Chatto, Ms.).

AS elusive as mist and as persistent as dew-that is one way of saying something about

Verlaine's poetry. Nor. on his visits to London, did he experience fog for nothing.

Always, his landscapes are of retreating figures. Perhaps at the best these are guesses about his Muse, guesses that may be followed like those retreating figures until suddenly they too are lost in a swirl of mist or enveloping fog.

In this new biography, there is no such guessing. For the first time, the authors have had the advantage of reading all the unpublished as well as published letters of the poet; the book that has therefore resulted is carefully annotated, if a little unadventurous.

'I am feminine'

IN the last chapter Mr. and Mrs. Hanson claim that more than most men Verlaine resists summing up in a phrase or two." Yet the poet himself once confessed: " I am feminine-and this explains lots of things."

For he saw his Muse as a woman who was both his temptress and his salvation; she was Eve who had brought man out of paradise and

she was Mary who would lead man back.

And to bring a reconciliation between these two was the unheard melody that lay behind all his song; it was what gave it that haunting duality that belies the human condition.


blog comments powered by Disqus