Calm down, my Sorrow, we must move with care. / You called for evening; it descends, it’s here. — Charles Baudelaire, “Meditation,” trans, Robert Lowell, Poetry (September 1961)
To the Reader To the Reader Folly, error, sin, and penny-pinching Preoccupy our minds and belabor our bodies And we feed our amiable remorse Like beggars nourishing their vermin. Our sins are stubborn, our repentance weak — We demand generous payment for our confessions And we return gaily to the muddy path, Believing a few… Continue reading Charles Baudelaire
Swan-white of heart; I smile not ever neither do I weep. I am as lovely as a dream in stone.” —Charles Baudelaire, from “Beauty,” Complete Poems (Routledge, 2002)
In my ruined heart your roaring wakens the same agony as in cathedrals when the organ moans and from the depths I hear that I am damned. — Charles Baudelaire, from “Obsession,” Fleurs du mal / Flowers of Evil. Translated by Richard Howard. (David R. Godine; First edition, second printing edition October 1, 1985) Originally… Continue reading Charles Baudelaire
Paris may change, but in my melancholy mood Nothing has budged! New palaces, blocks, scaffoldings, Old neighborhoods, are allegorical for me And my dear memories are heavier than stone. – Charles Baudelaire, from “The Swan,” The Flowers of Evil. Translated by James McGowan, (Oxford University Press May 15, 2008) Originally published 1857.
I prefer to African wines, to opium, to burgundy, The elixir of your mouth where love parades itself; When my desires leave in caravan for you, Your eyes are the reservoir where my cares drink. — Charles Baudelaire, from “Sed Non Satiata,” Fleurs du mal / Flowers of Evil. Translated by Geoffrey Wagner. (David R.… Continue reading Charles Baudelaire
The Poet is like this monarch of the clouds riding the storm above the marksman’s range; exiled on the ground, hooted and jeered, he cannot walk because of his great wings. —Charles Baudelaire, from “The Albatross,” Les Fleurs Du Mal (David R. Godine October 1st 1983. Originally published 1857.