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The Young Fools
Paul Verlaine

High-heels were struggling with a full-length dress
So that, between the wind and the terrain,

At times a shining stocking would be seen,
And gone too soon. We liked that foolishness.

Also, at times a jealous insect's dart
Bothered our beauties. Suddenly a white
Nape flashed beneath the branches, and this sight
Was a delicate feast for a young fool's heart.

Evening fell, equivocal, dissembling,
The women who hung dreaming on our arms
Spoke in low voices, words that had such charms
That ever since our stunned soul has been trembling.

This poem is in the public domain.




Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896) was a French poet known more for his technical expertise than his emotional impact. There was plenty of emotion in his personal life, however: he spent two years in prison for shooting a fellow poet during an argument that got out of hand, and he vacillated between drunken decadence and remorseful repentance for most of his life. Amid all that, he managed to write some quite fine poetry and was oddly revered by the public. Many of Verlaine's poems have been set to music, including six from his "Fêtes Galante" collection (which, roughly translated, means "party time poems") claimed by Claude Debussy.


Post New Comment:
Jean Colonomos-1:
Love Verlaine. Much of his poetry was dreamy.
Posted 07/07/2014 11:39 PM

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