The Flowers of Evil (Oxford World's Classics) (English and French Edition)
Charles Baudelaire, James A. McGowan
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NOTE: I used an older de-DRM pack on some of my recent AZW3 files, which is known to cause problems with AZW3 files and certain Kindles. I did not know this until recently, and am therefore re-uploading corrected versions of these. This is the corrected version of this book.
The Flowers of Evil, which T.S. Eliot called the greatest example of modern poetry in any language, shocked the literary world of nineteenth century France with its outspoken portrayal of lesbian love, its linking of sexuality and death, its unremitting irony, and its unflinching celebration of the seamy side of urban life. Including the French texts and comprehensive explanatory notes to the poems, this extraordinary body of love poems restores the six poems originally banned in 1857, revealing the richness and variety of the collection.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Note: Surprised that there wasn't more Baudelaire here already, so here you go. A classic and highly recommended!
Before a wand and flute. Your childlike head lolls with the weight Of all your idleness, And sways with all the slackness of A baby elephant’s, And your lithe body bends and stretches Like a splendid barque That rolls from side to side and wets With seas its tipping yards. As when the booming glaciers thaw They swell the waves beneath, When your mouth’s water floods into The borders of your teeth, I know I drink a gypsy wine, Bitter, subduing, tart, A liquid sky that strews and
also the ‘soft enchantress’ and ‘majestic child’ of ‘The Splendid Ship’, But ‘Poison’ tells us that the poison which flows from her eyes is more powerful than wine or opium. But all that is not worth the prodigy Of your saliva, girl, That bites my soul, and dizzies it, and swirls It down remorselessly, Rolling it, fainting, to the underworld! And ‘To a Madonna’ joins a tradition of poetic celebration, where the poet imagines various aspects of his passion as ornaments for the beloved, with
Around me roared the nearly deafening street. Tall, slim, in mourning,* in majestic grief, A woman passed me, with a splendid hand Lifting and swinging her festoon and hem; Nimble and stately, statuesque of leg. I, shaking like an addict, from her eye, Black sky, spawner of hurricanes, drank in Sweetness that fascinates, pleasure that kills. One lightning flash … then night! Sweet fugitive Whose glance has made me suddenly reborn, Will we not meet again this side of death? Far from
overflows herself, Becomes a mournful, languorous flood Invisibly, mysteriously Flowing into my deepest heart. The sheaf opens out In a thousand flowers That Phoebe, delighted, Touches with colours— Arches and falls In a rain of tears. My dear, made lovelier by the night, How sweet to me when on your breast To listen to the old lament That softly sobs about the pools! Moon, sounding water, quivering trees, The blessed midnight all above— Your melancholy purity Becomes the mirror
the water; when he tried to grasp his beloved, he was drowned. 103. Dawn Aurora: the goddess of the dawn (Roman). WINE Baudelaire published in 1851 a serious study entitled ‘Concerning Wine and Hashish’; wine, he decided in that work, functions best as consolation for the working class (as in no. 105), but ultimately drunkenness is blameable as an artificial attempt to escape from the problems of being human. The poems in this section, though, sometimes take a different view. 105. The