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Close Encounter of the French Kind

Romantic Poets inspire literary night in London.


To all you literature fans: you need wait no more. The spirit of two of the 19th Century’s greatest poets are in town. London’s new arts and culture centre, Kings Place are celebrating the work of Rimbaud and Verlaine, the talented French poets and life partners, on April 27th.

Rimbaud was described by Victor Hugo as “an infant Shakespeare” when he was just a teenager, whilst Verlaine is known as one of the greatest representatives of French poetry. The couple spent a stormy but creative period together during 1873. Verlaine abandoned his wife and child and ran away with Rimbaud. Later the same year, he shot Rimbaud and ended up in jail.

But before the incident, the lovers traveled together to England, where they both are thought to have composed some of their fieriest and most romantic poems. Rimbaud and Verlaine’s symbolic romance reminds me of the story of my poetic relationship with the biggest love of my life, except that we ended things peacefully - and there were no guns involved!

Chaired by the Poetry Editor of The Times Literary Supplement, Alan Jenkins, the event features biographer Graham Robb, French Literature expert Dominique Comb, French professor and author Martin Sorrell, and author Yann Fremy. The event is run by Poet in the City, and takes place at 19:00 at Kings Place.

Words: Chandler Cline

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