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Punk rocker Patti Smith celebrates Rimbaud

US rock singer and poet Patti Smith gestures as she performs on stage in the eastern French city of Charleville-Mezieres on November 11, 2011, where she pays tribute to French poet Arthur Rimbaud for the 120th anniversary of Rimbaud's death. - AFP Photo

CHARLEVILLE-MEZIERES: US punk rock poet Patti Smith led a celebration Thursday in memory of Arthur Rimbaud, in the home town of the French poet who died 120 years ago.

Smith, a life-long devotee of the symbolist French genius, said Rimbaud remained the eternal poet of youth through the power and perfection of his art.

“His soul is infused in his poetry and so his poetry is with us,” said Smith, speaking to AFP inside the museum in Charleville devoted to the symbolist who wrote his last work before his 21st birthday.

“It is the heart of youth, and it is the heart of curiosity, enthusiasm, and also an elevated mentality,” sha said. “I mean it's everywhere, his spirit is everywhere, it's here right now, it's in our hands.”

Speaking earlier to 150 people gathered in the church where Rimbaud worshipped as a child, she said of the poet who died in severe pain from cancer in Marseille in 1891 that Thursday represented a celebration of his liberation from suffering rather than his death.

She said that she would sponsor the complete refurbishing of the town's Rimbaud museum to be completed in 2013.


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