50 Facts About Arthur Rimbaud


Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet known for his transgressive and surreal themes and for his influence on modern literature and arts, prefiguring surrealism.


Arthur Rimbaud was a libertine and a restless soul, having engaged in a hectic, sometimes violent romantic relationship with fellow poet Paul Verlaine, which lasted nearly two years.


Arthur Rimbaud was born in the provincial town of Charleville in the Ardennes department in northeastern France.


Arthur Rimbaud was the second child of Frederic Rimbaud and Marie Catherine Vitalie Rimbaud.


Arthur Rimbaud's father, a Burgundian of Provencal heritage, was an infantry captain who had risen from the ranks; he had spent much of his army career abroad.


Arthur Rimbaud participated in the conquest of Algeria from 1844 to 1850, and in 1854 was awarded the Legion of Honor "by Imperial decree".


Captain Arthur Rimbaud was described as "good-tempered, easy-going and generous," with the long moustache and goatee of a Chasseur officer.


Arthur Rimbaud came from a "solidly established family", but one with its share of bohemians; two of her brothers were alcoholics.


On 8 February 1853, Captain Arthur Rimbaud and Vitalie Cuif married; their first-born, Jean Nicolas Frederic, arrived nine months later on 2 November.


Arthur Rimbaud was not at home for his children's births, nor their baptisms.


Isabelle's birth in 1860 must have been the last straw, as after this Captain Arthur Rimbaud stopped returning home on leave altogether.


Arthur Rimbaud would punish her sons by making them learn a hundred lines of Latin verse by heart, and further punish any mistakes by depriving them of meals.


Arthur Rimbaud disliked schoolwork and resented his mother's constant supervision; the children were not allowed out of their mother's sight, and until they were fifteen and sixteen respectively, she would walk them home from school.


Arthur Rimbaud won eight first prizes in the French academic competitions in 1869, including the prize for Religious Education, and the following year won seven first prizes.


At the age of 15, Arthur Rimbaud was showing maturity as a poet; the first poem he showed Izambard, "", would later be included in anthologies, and is often regarded as one of Arthur Rimbaud's three or four best poems.


On 4 May 1870, Arthur Rimbaud's mother wrote to Izambard to object to his having given Arthur Rimbaud Victor Hugo's to read, as she thought the book dangerous to the morals of a child.


From late October 1870, Arthur Rimbaud's behaviour became openly provocative; he drank alcohol, spoke rudely, composed scatological poems, stole books from local shops, and abandoned his characteristically neat appearance by allowing his hair to grow long.


Arthur Rimbaud sent Verlaine two letters with several of his poems, including the hypnotic, finally shocking "Le Dormeur du Val", in which Nature is called upon to comfort an apparently sleeping soldier.


Arthur Rimbaud arrived in late September 1871 and resided briefly in Verlaine's home.


Arthur Rimbaud's voice had "highs and lows as if it were breaking".


Arthur Rimbaud spent his days in the Reading Room of the British Museum where "heating, lighting, pens and ink were free".


Arthur Rimbaud was not well liked at the time, and many people thought of him as dirty and rude.


Arthur Rimbaud had to settle for Rimbaud and Verlaine, who were described as "geniuses of the tavern".


Merat spread many rumours in the salons that Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud were sleeping together; the spread of those rumours was the commencement of the fall for the two poets, who were trying to build a good reputation for themselves.


Arthur Rimbaud initially dismissed the wound as superficial but had it dressed at the St-Jean hospital nevertheless.


Arthur Rimbaud did not immediately file charges, but decided to leave Brussels.


Arthur Rimbaud was interrogated about his correspondence with Rimbaud and the nature of their relationship.


Arthur Rimbaud managed to return incognito to France by ship; as a deserter he would have faced a Dutch firing squad had he been caught.


In December 1878, Arthur Rimbaud journeyed to Larnaca in Cyprus, where he worked for a construction company as a stone quarry foreman.


Arthur Rimbaud finally settled in Aden, Yemen, in 1880, as a main employee in the Bardey agency, going on to run the firm's agency in Harar, Ethiopia.


Arthur Rimbaud maintained friendly relationships with the official tutor of the young heir.


In 1885, Arthur Rimbaud became involved in a major deal to sell old rifles to Menelik II, king of Shewa, at the initiative of French merchant Pierre Labatut.


Arthur Rimbaud hosted explorer Jules Borrelli and merchant Armand Savoure.


In February 1891, in Aden, Arthur Rimbaud developed what he initially thought was arthritis in his right knee.


Arthur Rimbaud spent some time there in great pain, attended by his sister Isabelle.


Arthur Rimbaud received the last rites from a priest before dying on 10 November 1891, at the age of 37.


Thanks to Isabelle, Arthur Rimbaud was brought to Charleville and buried in its cemetery with great pomp.


The first known poems of Arthur Rimbaud were mostly emulating the style of the Parnasse school and other famous contemporary poets like Victor Hugo, although he quickly developed an original approach, both thematically and stylistically.


Later on, Arthur Rimbaud was prominently inspired by the work of Charles Baudelaire.


In May 1871, aged 16, Arthur Rimbaud wrote two letters explaining his poetic philosophy, commonly called the Lettres du voyant.


Arthur Rimbaud expounded the same ideas in his poem "Le Bateau ivre".


Arthur Rimbaud died without the benefit of knowing that his manuscripts not only had been published but were lauded and studied, having finally gained the recognition for which he had striven.


Arthur Rimbaud even forbids us to fall into silence; because he did, this, better than anyone.


Arthur Rimbaud's poetry influenced the Symbolists, Dadaists, and Surrealists, and later writers adopted not only some of his themes, but his inventive use of form and language.


Arthur Rimbaud was a prolific correspondent and his letters provide vivid accounts of his life and relationships.


University of Exeter professor Martin Sorrell argues that Arthur Rimbaud was and remains influential in not only literary and artistic circles but political spheres as well, having inspired anti-rationalist revolutions in America, Italy, Russia, and Germany.


Arthur Rimbaud is mentioned in the cult film Eddie and the Cruisers, along with the storyline that the group's second album was entitled A Season in Hell.


Arthur Rimbaud is the protagonist of the opera Arthur Rimbaud, ou Le Fils du soleil by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero.


Arthur Rimbaud is mentioned in the CocoRosie song "Terrible Angels", from their album La maison de mon reve.


Arthur Rimbaud thought enough of himself to leave an inscription at the Temple of Luxor in Egypt.