A poignant photo of Paul Verlaine sitting alone in a cafe, post-Mathilde, post-Rimbaud, hastening his descent into drug addiction and alcoholism with a bottle of (what else?) absinthe. The story of the original
maudit has inspired more self-destructive artistic martyrdoms than any other, but he must have been a sad, even pathetic, man, tormented by everything. And, let's not forget, he was a great poet.
"Like city's rain, my heart . . ."
Like city's rain, my heart Rains teardrops too. What now, This languorous ache, this smart That pierces, wounds my heart? Gentle, the sound of rain Pattering roof and ground! Ah, for the heart in pain, Sweet is the sound of rain! Tears rain-but who knows why?- And fill my heartsick heart. No faithless lover's lie? . . . It mourns, and who knows why? And nothing pains me so-- With neither love nor hate-- A simply not to know Why my heart suffers so.