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State of Mind
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A young poet from France, reticent and with an inscrutable expression on his face at all times. He has a certain wanderlust that explains his not-so-uncommon sudden disappearances. Ever since Baudelaire picked him up when he was passed out in the world of his poetry anthology "The Flowers of Evil", Rimbaud began calling him "Big bro" and now idolizes him. He doesn't typically talk much, but apparently it's due to his extreme particularity with regards to words; he always is deep in his head thinking about them.


  • Arthur Rimbaud was born in in Charleville, France on 20 October 1854.
  • Rimbaud's poetry was heavily influenced by Charles Baudelaire, this style would be labeled as Symbolist poetry.[1]
  • His mother was overprotective of him, not even letting walk home until he was 16.
  • As a child, Rimbaud would meet his lifelong friend Ernest Delahaye who described him as someone who has "pale blue irradiated with dark blue—the loveliest eyes I've seen" [2]
  • His published his first poem at age 15, titled "Les Étrennes des orphelins" in La Revue pour tous.[3]
  • At the start of the Franco-Prussian war, Rimbaud would run away from home at the end of August. On arrival at his destination, he was arrested and locked up to await trial for fare evasion and vagrancy. He wrote a letter to his teacher who then arranged with the prison governor that Rimbaud be released into his care.[3]
  • Rimbaud would write to several famous Symbolist poets, one of them being Paul Verlaine. Verlaine, who was another poet on the rise, would be enamored by Rimbaud's poems, especially "Le Dormeur du Val". Verlaine would respond to the poem with the line "Come, dear great soul. We await you; we desire you" and sent him a one-way ticket to Paris.[3]
  • Rimbaud and Verlaine's relationship was turbulent and abusive. The two of them lived a decadent lifestyle of booze and opium which became scandalous in the eyes of the Parisian literary circle. Rimbaud and Verlaine fought often and at one point, Verlaine shot Rimbaud in a drunken rage which would wound Rimbaud's left arm. Verlaine would be sentenced to two years prison due to this incident.[3]
    • Rumors mention that the day before, Verlaine had brought home some fish and a bottle of oil. Rimbaud commented "You’ve no idea what a cunt you look with that fish" which infuriated Verlaine, slapping Rimbaud with the fish. After that, Verlaine threatened that he will commit suicide and stormed off.[4]
  • After the incident with Verlaine, Rimbaud returned to his hometown to compose his first work titled "Un Saison en Enfer" (A Season in Hell), an extended poem in prose. It would be the only work that Rimbaud published himself.
  • In 1874, he would begin his work on his final work, "Les Illuminations" (Illuminations). Though work may have began since 1872 as the poems in Illuminations seems to have been written from many locations.
    • Upon its completion in 1875, he handed the manuscript of Illuminations to Verlaine tasking him to hand the manuscript to his friend Germain Nouveau in Brussels for him to publish. After Verlaine handed the manuscript, he thought to himself "Why had he not searched for a publisher himself?" and at Verlaine's request, Nouveau would return the manuscript to Verlaine which would later be published in two editions. Rimbaud himself would never see over its turbulent publication.[5]
  • At the age of 20, Rimbaud would leave the literary world and started traveling.
    • In 1876, he enlisted in the Dutch Colonial Army and was stationed in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) where he deserted the army.[3]
    • In 1878, he moved to Cyprus and work as a quarry foreman, he would later leave due to a case of typhoid fever.[3]
    • In 1880, he settled in Yemen where he would work for a trading company, later he would be sent to Harar, Ethiopia spending the rest of his life as a coffee and firearms dealer.[3]
  • Rimbaud would pass away at the age of 37 on 10 November 1891 due to untreated bone cancer.[3]
  1. The History of France p. 112. Scott, W. Haine
  2. Ivry, Benjamin (1998), Arthur Rimbaud, Bath, Somerset: Absolute Press
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Robb, Graham (2000), Rimbaud, New York: W.W. Norton & Co
  4. Verlaine and Rimbaud Fall Out Over A Fish. A Drinker's History of London
  5. Jeancolas, Claude (2004) Rimbaud, l'œuvre intégrale manuscrite, Paris: Textuel. Vol. 3: "Transcriptions, caractères et cheminements des manuscrits"