Poems of the Week


by Eddie Aderne

“Arts world dismayed at fate of London home of Rimbaud and Verlaine
Graham Henderson, R&V’s chief executive … [said] “the seismic importance of events that
happened there, people are still writing books about. These events have achieved
mythic status.”

He was referring to the poets’ devastating quarrel: “Rimbaud leant out of the window as
Verlaine was walking back from Camden market … and shouted a stream of abuse. Verlaine hit
Rimbaud with a fish he’d acquired in the market [and] fled to Brussels. Rimbaud, contrite,
immediately followed … Verlaine shot Rimbaud, wounding him … and went to prison for a
couple of years for that.”

The Guardian

Though “mythic status” might sound meretricious,
Few are the homes where bards have wielded fishes—
An act which shows at least good, honest muscles,
Unlike the gun Verlaine deployed in Brussels.