50 damned good writers, 50 reasons to revere patti smith, 50 famous fags

arthur rimbaud, writer, born charlesville, france (1854 – 1891)

rimbaud  was 17 when he bedded france’s most famous poet paul verlaine, 19 when he wrote his most famous poem “une saison en enfer / a season in hell”. he continued to share his bed, absynthe, and hashish with the married m. verlaine until verlaine shot rimbaud in amsterdam. that singular act put a damper on their relationship. the poem and bullet made rimbaud the enfant terrible of france. he was so revered by patti smith (born chicago, illinois (1946)), she saluted rimbaud by screaming out “go johnny go, go rimbaud” in “land: horses, land of a thousand dances, la mer” from her seminal album “horses”.

extract from “a season in hell”

once, if my memory serves me well, my life was a banquet where every heart revealed itself, where every wine flowed.one evening

i took beauty in my arms – and i thought her bitter – and i insulted her.

i steeled myself against justice.

i fled. o witches, o misery, o hate, my treasure was left in your care!

i have withered within me all human hope. with the silent leap of a sullen beast, i have downed and strangled every joy …

… ah! i’ve taken too much of that: – still, dear satan, don’t look so annoyed, i beg you! and while waiting for a few belated cowardices, since you value in a writer all lack of descriptive or didactic flair, i pass you these few foul pages from the diary of a damned soul.

[ah, to only be able to read it its native tongue!]


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