by Arthur Rimbaud
Before he permanently gave up poetry at the age of twenty-one, Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891) created some of the finest French verse in history. Son of a domineering mother, Rimbaud was a brilliant student who became unruly and rebellious in his teenage years, joining the Paris Commune of 1871 and entering a torrid affair with the poet Paul Verlaine. After composing the brilliant prose poetry of A Season in Hell and the groundbreaking Illuminations, Rimbaud left France for Java and Abyssinia, where he worked under the employ of various trading companies until returning to France to have his right leg amputated in Marseille. He died at the age of thirty-seven under the watch of his sister, Isabelle.