Charleville-Mézières, a town in northern France opened the Old Mill on the river Meuse to house the collection of its most famous poet, the 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud.
The museum combines objects telling the story of Rimbaud’s short life (he only lived to 37) and his literary legacy in one space but also to demonstrate his influence on artists in words, images, sound, shapes and colours.
Rimbaud, born in 1854, began publishing poetry at the age of 15 in. He ran away at 16 for Paris but returned soon after, only to spend the rest of his short life traveling.
Best known as a brilliant poet, his imagination and writing was for some time encouraged by his lover, Paul Verlaine. The collection A Season in Hell was inspired by their dramatic break-up where Verlaine ended up in prison after shooting at Rimbaud.
I kissed the dawn of summer.
Nothing stirred before the palace. Water was motionless. Shadow claimed the woodland road.
I walked, lively and with warm breath, noticing precious stones along the way; and wings rose without a sound.
First, I encountered a form full of freshness and light--a flower who told me her name.
I laughed at the bright waterfall pounding trees into disarray: at the silver summit, I perceived the goddess.
I lifted her veils, one by one. My arms trembled with delight. But across the plain, I denounced her to the cock. In the city, she fled among steeples and domes, and I chased after like a beggar on the banks of marble.
On a little road near the forest, I bound her with gathered veils, and gathered my courage to touch her colossal body. At once, both dawn and child fell down at the woodpile.
On waking, I found that it was noon..