Paul Verlaine (essay date 1894)
SOURCE: "Shakespeare and Racine," in The Fortnightly Review, Vol. LVI, No. CCCXXXIII, September, 1894, pp. 440-47.
[A nineteenth-century French poet, Verlaine captured the musicality of the French language perhaps more than did any other poet. By using rhyme structures and meters that had previously been rare in French poetry, he is said to have liberated French poetics from the strictures of classicism and the rhetoric of Romanticism, and helped define the Symbolist theory of poetics. In the following excerpt, Verlaine...
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