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Saturday, March 28, 2020

'Lost in Adventure'

“The poet is a madman lost in adventure.” – Paul Verlaine

 Born in Northeast France on March 30, 1844, Verlaine became associated with the so-called “Symbolist” writing movement of the mid-to-late 19th Century and one of France’s best-known poets.   He started his writing career after completing his collegiate studies in Paris and doing stints in the French Army, the Civil Service, and as a writing teacher.  
             After his first book of poetry, Poèmes saturniens, became an instant success,  he wrote 2 dozen more books of poems before his death at the relatively young age of 52.  Two years before his death, he was named France’s “Prince of Poets.”  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Verlaine’s,

                                                Clair De Lune
Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair,
Peopled with maskers delicate and dim,
That play on lutes and dance and have an air
Of being sad in their fantastic trim.

The while they celebrate in minor strain
Triumphant love, effective enterprise,
They have an air of knowing all is vain,
And through the quiet moonlight their songs rise.

The melancholy moonlight, sweet and lone,
That makes to dream the birds upon the tree,
And in their polished basins of white stone
The fountains tall to sob with ecstasy. 

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