Arthur Rimbaud

Literary Birthday – 20 October – Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud was born 20 October 1854, and died 10 November 1891.


  1. I invented colours for the vowels! A black, E white, I red, O blue, U green. I made rules for the form and movement of every consonant, and I boasted of inventing, with rhythms from within me, a kind of poetry that all the senses, sooner or later, would recognise. And I alone would be its translator. I began it as an investigation.
  2. I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.
  3. Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.
  4. Life is the farce we are all forced to endure.
  5. I believe that I am in hell, therefore I am there.
  6. A thousand Dreams within me softly burn.

Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet who produced his works while still in his late teens. He gave up creative writing before the age of 20.  Victor Hugo described him as ‘an infant Shakespeare’. He was a restless soul who travelled on three continents before his death from cancer just after his 37th birthday. Read his Complete Works.


Étienne Carjat, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 20th October 2012