Rimbaud, Arthur (1854–1891), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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A selection of major poems by Arthur Rimbaud. Including early poems, Les Illuminations and Une Saison En Enfer, both complete, and an extract from the 'Voyant' Letter.

Rimbaud’s poetry developed and extended the symbolist legacy of Baudelaire, who with apolitical intensity had responded to the challenge of modernity in verse embodying a new and darker vision. Rimbaud in his early verse expresses a lyrical and sensuous relationship with his subject matter, using conventional verse forms as Baudelaire had, to explore unconventional, modernist patterns of thought and behaviour. While seemingly adolescent in some respects, the poetry is also astoundingly mature, both as poetry and in exposing his underlying discontent with French provincial life and culture.

In his later work, Rimbaud used prose as a poetic medium to express a mounting disgust with conventional existence and the deadened spiritual state of nineteenth-century Europe. It is a form of writing that strongly influenced the Dadaist and Surrealist movements.

Author Details

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Kline, A. S.

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