By Paul Fearne
Key Themes: Mental Health, Schizophrenia,
This book is a poetic exploration of the work and life of the 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud. The book is addressed to Rimbaud, and follows short poetic brevities, talking to Rimbaud as if he was in the room.
Rimbaud led a fascinating life. From his beginnings in provincial France, through to his arrival(s) in Paris, through his bohemian years, his relationship with Paul Verlaine, and his final departure for Africa to become a merchant trader.
Never has one individual achieved so much in such a short time frame. Rimbaud gave up poetry at 21, but his corpus remains as rich as any who has spent a life time endeavouring in their field.
About the Author
Paul Fearne holds a PhD from Latrobe University, and a Masters from the University of Melbourne. He has been re-diagnosed as suffering from schizoaffective disorder. His first book, Diary of a Schizophrenic, was launched at the 2010 Melbourne Writers Festival. Paul Fearne has also worked extensively in the field, working for Mission Australia, and volunteering for Mind Australia, the Mental Illness Fellowship of Victoria, and Wellways, helping sufferers from mental illness on their journey’s towards recovery.
Some of Paul Fearne’s work appears under the nom de plume of ‘Fearne Paul’.
There are times to go, and times to stay. And in this Rimbaud, you have excelled. But what of the night? You are there, where we all want to be.
A child prodigy, like no other. The deep beyond has you now, but you live! Your renunciation has left its mark on a bitter world. But we must not stop.
‘A Season in Hell’, your finest work. We all suffer, but your suffering helps propel us to that misty climb that is the world we know. And here, life.
Verlaine, your heart. Your parting embrace a willow that has no steel. Your Africa, a place to let, for the adventure of amazing graceless wonder.
And now, the vision. An unheard symphony in steps that are no larger than yours, Rimbaud. And when you left it all behind, wonder, and a little silk.
Your early Latin, a confidant. A mist that dispels no sound. A prodigy, it was true. You won your awards, and then came to live the life.
What is that which you say from the grave? Hold on, there is still time. But when we live, we live with heart, and passion, and the moisture of the air doesn’t bother us.
The poems you sent Verlaine upon your introduction to Paris must have surely left their mark. You had others too, equal in greatness.
You wanted the Parnassians, to be them, to join them, but your sound was too great. You shocked and appalled with equal fervour.
There are times in our lives, when we reflect upon you Rimbaud, and we are amazed. How could someone give up poetry all together at 21!
There is nothing like an old saying. And here, when we have your words at our breast, ‘bon voyage’!
When Verlaine was drunk, and bought that pistol, and shot you through the wrist, there was no going back.
In Africa, after your great renunciation, you sold guns to a local king. Why does this not shock us?