By Verlaine’s homage, a cursed poet is one living and creating outside or against a society, first meant to group several names under one title, later becoming a synonym for those who created under the suffering – of life, love, illnesses and other torments. Algis Valiunas in his article on cursed poets, closely looking at Baudelaire, Verlaine and Rimbaud, says the following:
„Baudelaire’s imagined picture of Edgar Allen Poe’s drunken genius created a powerful mythology, and the cursed poets were cursed in part because they considered themselves sworn members of an elite brotherhood, an order of poets who would dare, and endure, anything for their art. Thus they came to revere as essential to their vocation the wildest transports and the most searing afflictions, whatever their origin.
One can see why the cursed poets believed they had been chosen for so terrible and sublime a fate. Their mythology of genius born in suffering helped make their hard lot endurable, as countless adolescents who have read J. D. Salinger can testify. But it also drove them deeper into misery—drove them to seek out misery, to cherish drunkenness, madness, ordeal, as a source of poetic inspiration…
There is something perverse about these poets and their view of their calling. They did not imitate Christ’s selfless suffering. Instead, with a poet’s vanity, each relished in his own way his martyrdom, championed it, flaunted it.
Yet they were better men than the twenty-first-century intellectuals who have supplanted them as cultural heroes. Baudelaire, Verlaine, and Rimbaud fought for their souls, even if theirs was not exactly a winning fight. Today’s intellectuals scorn the very notion of a soul.
They [the poets] loathe the religious traditions of the West, and they love to strike the pose of fearlessness before the abyss, especially after the manner of Nietzsche.“
In short, these poets had their demons and did not find rest until they found them. My demons are obvious from the first page of my book all the way to the last – dark, suffocating, beasts of impossible loves and life – and yet, when I found and confined them on paper, they became bearable, almost tamed. My writing was exorcism of the highest sort, and this site just another way to keep them at world’s bay. So, in that regard, I am flaunting my „spiritual anguish“, feeling proud to be in the company of such famous poets, even if it is a „cursed“ one.