From The Guardian:
Arthur Rimbaud, one of the most revolutionary poets of 19th-century France, grew up in a small town, Charleville, in the north-east corner of the country near the Belgian border. As a child he'd been obedient to his strict mother (his father was a soldier who'd vanished after rapidly siring four children) and he'd been the best student in the region, excelling in the classics and French. But Rimbaud's real interest was poetry. He haunted the local bookstore and read all the latest poetry coming out of Paris. So attracted was Rimbaud to the capital that he ran away from home, arrived in Paris on 30 August 1870 – and was instantly arrested for not paying the correct fare on his train ticket. He was put in prison, and only his favourite teacher from back home was able to get him out. Despite this ignominious beginning, Rimbaud – who was 16 going on 17 – made several other attempts to reach the capital, even though the Prussians had invaded and Paris had declared itself a commune between 26 March and 30 May 1871.
The penniless and friendless Rimbaud could never survive for long away from home during these chaotic times. But in the early autumn in 1871 he fired off a letter to Paul Verlaine, his favourite poet. Without waiting for a response, Rimbaud sent off a few more poems to Verlaine two days later. Then came the fateful response from Paris: “Come, dear great soul, we call you, we await you.” Verlaine enclosed the train fare.