The symbolic poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé

Monday, August 03, 11.22 GMT


Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) was a French poet and critic which represented the culmination of symbolism and it was a clear antecedent of the avant-gardes that would mark the first years of the following century.

In its beginnings, the poetic work of Mallarmé reflected the footprint of Théophile Gautier, Théodore de Banville, and most of all, Charles Baudelaire, whom he recognized as teachers.

However, over time I develop an ambitious poetic work.

In the second half of the XNUMXth century he began an aesthetic in his poetry, related to a certain impressionism and orphism.

Through social gatherings at his home, Mallarmé spread his new poetics based on the introduction of free verse and the construction of the poem around a central symbol.

Mallarmé was one of the pioneers of French decadentism. He created poems closed in on themselves, far from any realism.

Sea breeze (1865) is a poem composed of 16 verses in flat rhymes and is divided into two parts, one with 10 verses and the other with six.

This poem deals with the theme of a love disappointment, surely of the artist, with which he sought to make the reader understand how difficult it was for him to live that situation, and above all, to get away from it.

Mallarmé's style is particularly difficult to translate into other languages, which is why his translators often have to do without rhyme in order to best accommodate the writer's ideas.

Mallarmé and Symbolism

Symbolism was one of the most important literary and artistic movements that originated in France in 1886.

Using the use of symbols to represent emotions and an overflowing imagination, symbolism considered the world as a mystery and art as a dream.

It was opposed to naturalism and realism that reflected everyday reality. 

Mallarmé was one of the great representatives of this movement in which he highlighted Charles Baudelaire above all.

And although symbolist literary works did not achieve great recognition throughout history, they did mark the way to the future literary avant-garde.