Y a-t-il impressionnisme littéraire? Le Cas Verlaine

The use of the term impressionism for the visual arts suggests nuances of colors and variations of moods. In applying the term to poetry one is aware that words evoke not only emotions but ideas. Many poets of various schools have at times created works where stream of consciousness prevails in free and changing association. Verlaine has been often characterized an impressionist. His anti-intellectualism and gifted musicality well lend themselves to a fluidity of both movement and theme from which impressions emerge more clearly than thoughts. Images are suggested through movement, sounds, colors – a new day, a village, the church bells. The technique of placing and displacing, of showing and hiding, creates alternate pauses whereby dream and memory are confused. Verlaine projects the dream he lived through a fusion of the visual and musical impressionism. (In French) (DFM)

Festa McCormick, Diana F
Volume 1974 Spring-Summer; 2(3-4): 142-53.