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Credit: Beni Kohler


Patti Smith has bought the reconstructed home of French poet Arthur Rimbaud


Rimbaud is a poet of such high and valued distinction the notion of his early home being reconstructed is in itself a newsworthy piece. Add to that that one of our seminal punk poets; Patti Smith is now the lady in line to buy it and you have poetic prowess bursting at the seams.

The influential poet, Rimbaud, is most attributed as a  sort of punk-poet himself for his libertine attitude and inspiring work during his youth. A youth which helped to inspire both the surrealist and modernist movement across literature, music, and art.

The home is described by Architectural Digest as a “reassembled version of Rimbaud’s childhood home… [where] the late 19th-century French poet wrote his most famous piece A Season In Hell.”

Following falling in to disrepair the reconstruction of Rimbaud’s home, led by Jacqueline Kranevitter and Paul Boens, the Friends of Arthur Rimbaud contacted Smith who once labelled the poet as “like my boyfriend” and the purchase was sealed.


A Season In Hell 

A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing.

One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her galling.—And I roughed her up.

I armed myself against justice.

I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure’s been turned over to you!

I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind. I pounced on every joy like a ferocious animal eager to strangle it.

I called for executioners so that, while dying, I could bite the butts of their rifles. I called for plagues to choke me with sand, with blood. Bad luck was my god. I stretched out in the muck. I dried myself in the air of crime. And I played tricks on insanity.

And Spring brought me the frightening laugh of the idiot.

So, just recently, when I found myself on the brink of the finalsquawk! it dawned on me to look again for the key to that ancient party where I might find my appetite once more.

Charity is that key.—This inspiration proves I was dreaming!

“You’ll always be a hyena etc. . . ,” yells the devil, who’d crowned me with such pretty poppies. “Deserve death with all your appetites, your selfishness, and all the capital sins!”

Ah! I’ve been through too much:-But, sweet Satan, I beg of you, a less blazing eye! and while waiting for the new little cowardly gestures yet to come, since you like an absence of descriptive or didactic skills in a writer, let me rip out these few ghastly pages from my notebook of the damned.

Arthur Rimbaud