RE:VERB (Broken Sleep, 2022)

These poems reflect the fiercely independent spirit which characterised Arthur Rimbaud in all the phases of his short, turbulent life. In tightly-structured verse and vigorous, earthy diction, Cliff Forshaw lets the poet tell his own story, but in counterpoint with other voices and characters who seem him through the filter of his masks as a merchant, explorer and ethnographer. Dreawing on documents and letters, but wearing his research lightly, Forshaw unravels the poet's tangled adventures in Africa, Asia and elsewhere with welcome incisiveness. His colourful poems of place and mood also illuminate Rimbaud's inner life, and leave us with some intriguing clues as to why the brilliant poète maudit gave up his vocation and 'donned the grotesque finery of trade'. — Carole Rumens

Part translation, part verse biography, but entirely a law unto itself, Cliff Forshaw's RE:VERB is a freewheeling jeu d'esprit, a cocktail of bad blood, 'gloomy lust and sanctimonious doom'. Rampaging from the beatific, foul-mouthed teenaged poet to the fulminations of Une saison en enfer and the crucible of Africa, RE:VERB is a chasse spirituelle of sortilege and thaumaturgy, delivered with exquisite verve and oomph. Could Rimbaud read it himself, he would surely be moved to the same outbursts he reserved for reminders of his own work — 'Absurd, ridiculous, disgusting'. — David Wheatley

For a glimpse insde the book, follow the link: Cliff Forshaw - RE:VERB Broken Sleep Books

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