As a man, Charles Baudelaire - is difficult to sum up. The man was a charged particle of incompatible impulses and irreconcilable contradictions. He was a dandy by inclination but ran with girls from the gutter. He wrote of exotic lands but seems to have hated the one real trip he ever took. He was thought to be a satanist but privately maintained the ambivalent faith of a lapsed Catholic.
Charles Baudelaire Electronic Library
Charles Baudelaire | On This Day | Zócalo Public Square
You may opt out or contact us anytime. Lady, do you sometimes long to escape From the filth of the city, from this black sea to one whose everlasting splendor glows blue, bright and deep — a virgin sea! Lady, do you sometimes long to escape? The titan sea console us for our toil! What demon gave that raucous amateur supported by the organ of the winds the sacred task of singing lullabies? The titan sea console us for our toil?
I want to build for you, Madonna, my mistress, An underground altar in the depths of my grief And carve out in the darkest corner of my heart, Far from worldly desires and mocking looks, A niche, all enameled with azure and with gold, Where you shall stand, amazed Statue; With my polished Verses as a trellis of pure metal Studded cunningly with rhymes of crystal, I shall make for your head an immense Crown, And from my Jealousy, O mortal Madonna, I shall know how to cut a cloak in a fashion, Barbaric, heavy, and stiff, lined with suspicion, Which, like a sentry-box, will enclose your charms; Embroidered not with Pearls, but with all of my Tears! Your Gown will be my Desire, quivering, Undulant, my Desire which rises and which falls, Balances on the crests, reposes in the troughs, And clothes with a kiss your white and rose body. Of my Self-respect I shall make you Slippers Of satin which, humbled by your divine feet, Will imprison them in a gentle embrace, And assume their form like a faithful mold;. If I can't, in spite of all my painstaking art, Carve a Moon of silver for your Pedestal, I shall put the Serpent which is eating my heart Under your heels, so that you may trample and mock, Triumphant queen, fecund in redemptions, That monster all swollen with hatred and spittle. You will see my Thoughts like Candles in rows Before the flower-decked altar of the Queen of Virgins, Starring with their reflections the azure ceiling, And watching you always with eyes of fire.
The Flowers of Evil. To a Madonna Votive in the Spanish Style Madonna, mistress, out of my distress I'd like to raise an altar in the depths, And in the blackest corner of my heart, From earthly joys and mockeries apart, Hollow a niche, enamelled gold and blue, Astonished Statue, sanctified for you. With polished Verses, metal deftly twined, Learnedly spangled with my crystal rhymes, I'll weave a Crown for your celebrity; And, mortal Mary, in my Jealousy I'll cut your Cloak in the barbaric mode, Lined with Distrust, a heavy, stiff abode Emprisoning those charms I hold so dear; Brocaded not of Pearls, but of my Tears!