On October 20th, 1854, Arthur Rimbaud was born in Charleville, of the captain Frédéric Rimbaud and Vitalie Cuif. He is the second of five children whom will have the couple. At the age of eleven, he enters the municipal school of Charleville. Always the first one of class, he amazes his professors and his companions by his knowledge, but also by his independence and his balance. Oneof his teacher said of him: “Intelligent, as much as you want, but he had a smile which I don’t like. He will end badly: in any case, nothing banal will germinate in that head: he will be the genius of good or evil”. That shows well his so particular character, so strange, singular… His gifts are exceptional. He fascinates his professor of rhetoric, his name was Izambard, he was before gardist,and allows him to participate in the competition of the Academy of Douai.
I have moreover a small anecdote to tell you about this subject. This competition takes place on July 2nd. There is one test, the Latin, which lasts 6 hours. The pupils settle down in their tables and compose, read their Latin dictionaries, whereas Arthur makes nothing! At the end of one hour the supervisor approaches ofArthur, persuaded that he is going to abandon. When the supervisor asks him if everything is well, Arthur answers him: " no! I am hungry! " The supervisor takes him to take a snatch. Having eaten two enormous sandwiches, Arthur returns to his place. He takes his feather and writes, without consulting his dictionary, without raising the head, until the end of the test. While his companions writetheir last lines, Arthur returns quietly his copy and go out, hands in his pocket. The result is known some days later: Arthur is first, far in front of the others!
When Napoleon III attacks Prussia in 1870, Rimbaud tries to join Paris. But this first runs away ends pathetically to the prison of Mazas where the teenager is thrown: he had not paid his ticket of train! It is about its first experimentof the confinement there. He swears itself that it will be the last one... Izambard succeeds in releasing him, Rimbaud returns to Charleville to run away again.
It is during these escapades that he composes " My Bohemia " and the other poems. Finished of the model pupil: he will be a poet. He tries to reach the stranger, to see the invisible, to invent worlds, to change the life... We considerit crazy. He sends his poem (" the drunk ship ") to Paul Verlaine and decides to meet him in Paris. He will follow itself a long love relation between the men. Rimbaud always dedicates himself to his poetry. He laughs of that think of the others. But the wife of Verlaine chases him away of Paris. Both companions leave then to Brussels, Brugge, and reach to London. They are confronted with thespectacle of the misery and conceive a profound illness. Their stay in London marks the highlight of their relation. But one day, Verlaine, having too much drunk, goes in an arms factory and buys a gun. He returns to the room where he stays with Rimbaud. He follows itself a real crisis, rapes, with shouts and uncontrolled movements. Verlaine pulls two shots at his lover. Fortunately, only the hand istouched! Verlaine is condemned to spend two years in jail. Rimbaud go back to the family property.
He writes "Une saison en enfer", who appears some months later. It is a failure: nobody understands the poet. Revolted, Arthur burns the manuscript. He leaves then towards Marseille. The poet leaves his place to the walker: from now on, it is not in the writing that he will look for the fulfilmentof him, but in the trip. He definitively stops writing. He travels in all the European countries. In May, 1876, he enters the Dutch colonial army. He can so quench his envy for journeys. He visits Naples, Jakarta, sees the East. He deserts on August 16th, then he returns in England. Then he leaves to Cologne, Copenhagen, Norway, Alexandria, Rome, Cyprus. But he is sick of a typhoid fiever, and...