PAUL VERLAINE, French poet, born, (d: 1896); Did he or didn’t he? We know that Paul Verlaine wrote eighteen volumes of verse in alternating moods of sensuality and mysticism, that he wandered over Europe with that strange and perverse young poet, Arthur Rimbaud, that he was imprisoned for two years after shooting his lover. But did he in fact write a poem that is almost certain never to be taught in French I —  the so-called “Sonnet to an Asshole”? The chances are that he did. Even in English, the poem reflects the musical quality that was Verlaine’s hallmark: “Dark and wrinkled like a deep pink, / It breathes, humbly nestled among the moss / Still wet with love