A Portrait of Rimbaud by Pablo Picasso

RIMBAUD, poet, adventurer, explorer, coffee merchant, and more, while a boy, called for a radical change in poetry, a more synaesthetic machine to convey emotion and truth. He was outrageous in his lifestyle, person and philosophy, and he changed literature dramatically and permanently. Why is it that he is not taught more often in the university? Is he still an iconoclast, or has his existence become ordinary in an age of drug-sodden civilians?

He wrote most of his known works by the age of nineteen and died at thirty-seven. Not a long career or life, and yet he remains an icon to many writers  and musicians and painters including Patti Smith. Victor Hugo (Les Miserables) called him “a young Shakespeare.” he greatly influenced artists and poets like Dali and Ginsberg.

Born in 1854 in the Ardennes, he believed poets must go as deeply into what it means to experience being as much alive as they can be even if it means crazy, deranged senses. No wonder Picasso took this famous portrait and  ruffled it up, so to speak. you can read about Rimbaud online in many places, and get a sense of his life, but if you want to see the resulting poetic genius, I recommend reading his poem,  “The Drunken Boat.” Now, you have to excuse me, just writing this much has inspired me to go and  set to writing a short story.

Here is Picasso’s famous portrait of Rimbaud. You can find the orignal print in this gallery if you are interested in the details. Click on “Prints ” for more information.$1100. Firm.