American ex-soldier John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone, left) and French poet Arthur Rimbaud. (Maple Pictures, AFP/Getty)
What does Rambo (the newly released violence-fest starring Sylvester Stallone who reprises his role as the troubled, gun-toting Vietnam veteran) have to do with Arthur Rimbaud, the French child prodigy poet, besides the fact that they share a similar sounding name?
It would seem, at first, that they are complete opposites: war-monger and the Symbolist poet, right? However, Martin Morrow from CBCNews.ca has uncovered some striking similarities between the two.
Did you know that Rimbaud once stabbed a photographer with a sword-cane during a poetry reading? And by the age of 20, Rimbaud had given up being a poet to become a gunrunner? Dude, Rimbaud was a badass!
When a friend told me that a new Rimbaud film was being released Jan. 25, I was elated. “That’s terrific,” I said. “We’ve hardly seen any movies about the great French symbolist poet. The only one I can think of is Total Eclipse, with Leonardo DiCaprio, and that was back in 1995—”
“No, no, you idiot,” she said impatiently. “Not Rimbaud. Rambo. You know, Sylvester Stallone? Vietnam vet, mucho violence, headbands…”
All the same, there is a definite Rambo/Rimbaud link. It begins with David Morrell, the Canadian-born author of the original Rambo novel, First Blood, who apparently had the poet in mind when he named his character. On his website, Morrell recalls thinking that Rimbaud’s famous prose poem, A Season in Hell, “was an apt metaphor for the prisoner-of-war experiences that I imagined Rambo suffering.”
And that’s not all the two have in common. Take a closer look at them and you'll find some startling similarities.More here.