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Prison Souvenirs, Translation of Paul Verlaine's poem: Souvenirs de prison, March 1874

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Below is the poem entitled Prison Souvenirs, Translation of Paul Verlaine's poem: Souvenirs de prison, March 1874 which was written by poet T Wignesan. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Prison Souvenirs, Translation of Paul Verlaine's poem: Souvenirs de prison, March 1874

Prison Souvenirs, Translation of Paul Verlaine’s poem : Souvenirs de prison, March 1874*

(Verlaine was sentenced to serve a term of two years in prison for having shot his erstwhile lover in the arm/hand, the legendary poet Arthur Rimbaud, ten years his junior, on July 9th or 10th, 1873, in Bruxelles ; yet he was deeply in love with his wife : Mathilde, left to nurse his son in Paris. He was also sentenced to a month in prison in 1885, following a complaint by his mother and another Dave, for drunkenness. Cf. Yves-Alain Favre, Ed. Paul Verlaine : Œuvres Poétiques Complètes. Paris : Robert Laffont, 1992.)   

About a year now and more, I haven’t seen the butt-end
Of a newspaper. « Could the « Blue Library » be 
                                                          sufficient ?
Sometimes I tell myself, despite myself : « Would you 
                                                have believed it ? »
Oh ! Well ! One can’t die for the lack of it. First of all,
						it’s undigestible a bit,
A little bit too insipid, the experienced eye gets angry.
But the spirit ! Since it laughs and triumphs, lets it be !
And then again, it’s a patriotic pleasure, besides being 
                                                      salubrious :
Not to want to know anything of this century turned 
murderous
And not to continue to watch during this last spate of 
                                                          trance
This abominable agony which plagues La France.

•	There’s a reference to Verlaine’s letter to Lepelletier, dated August 22, 1874, and poems titled : Vieux Coppées.

© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2013 

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