Paul Verlaine, Poet and Absinthe Drinker

Paul Verlaine is one of the most famous and talented French Symbolist poets.

It was said by some that he never wrote a bad line. He loved absinthe and drank it often. Instead of saying hello, he was known to introduce himself by saying “I take sugar with it.”


Here is a photo of Verlaine drinking absinthe in the Café François 1er. The photograph was taken in 1892 by Paul Marsan Dornac. It looks much better when clicked on and viewed at a larger resolution.


Verlaine was immortalized by his painter friends, who painted portraits of him during various stages in his life. Below is a portrait of Verlaine painted by Eugène Carrière. Verlaine was also painted by Frédéric-Auguste Cazals, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, Henri Fantin-Latour, Antonio de la Gándara, and Gustave Courbet.


Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), French Symbolist poet:

“For me, my glory is a humble, ephemeral Absinthe.”

lucid abinsthe pour

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