Verlaine, Paul Marie

BORN 30 Mar 1844, Metz, Moselle - DIED 8 Jan 1896, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière des Batignolles, 8 rue Saint-Just (Division 11)

Paul Verlaine was educated at the Lycée Condorcet (at that time named Lycée impérial Bonaparte) in Paris and entered civil service afterwards. He started writing poetry as a young man and he was influenced by the Parnassien movement. He often visited the Marquise de Ricard at her salon and there he met Anatole France, Leconte de Lisle, Catulle Mendes and many others. In 1866 a volume of his poetry was published, "Poèmes saturniens".

In 1870 he married the seventeen year old Mathilde Mauté de Fleurville (1853-1914) and in that same year he entered the Garde nationale. He was in charge of the press bureau of the Paris Commune, but he was at Pas-de-Calais during the most violent period of the Commune. In 1871 he returned to Paris and in 1872 he left Mathilde and their son George. He started an affair with the young Arhur Rimbaud with whom he went to London. In 1873 he fired a gun at Rimbaud in Brussels when he was drunk. Rimbaud's left writst was slightly injured. Verlaine was arrested. He was jailed in Mons, but this was for sodomy after Mathilde had spoken out against him. During his imprisonment he became a Roman Catholic.

After his release he worked as a trachter in England for several years and he published "Sagesse". In 1877 he went back to France. When he taught at Rethel he fell in love with his pupil Lucien Létinois, who died of typhus in 1883.

During his later years he was poor and addicted to alcohol and drugs. But his work gained in popularity and his fellow poets declared him "Prince of Poets" in 1894. He died two years later and was buried at the Batignolles cemetery.

Related persons
• was painted by Carrière, Eugène
• was a friend of Dierx, Léon
• was painted by Fantin-Latour, Henri


The grave of Paul Verlaine at the Batignolles cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (23 Aug 2001)


• Beyern, Bertrand, Guide des Cimetières en France, Le Cherche Midi Éditeur, Paris, 1994
Paul Verlaine - Wikipedia

Verlat, Karel

Published: 07 Aug 2009
Last update: 25 Apr 2022