Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) was a French poet, essayist, art critic and translator of Edgar Allan Poe. So, of course, he is one of my favourite writers. He's the author of 'Les Fleurs du mal' (The Flowers of Evil), and I would like to share with you the poem I love the most.
FEMMES DAMNÉES / DAMNED WOMEN
Lying on the sand like ruminating cattle,
They turn their eyes toward the horizon of the sea,
And their clasped hands and their feet which seek the other's
Know both sweet languor and shudders of pain.
Some, whose hearts grew amorous from long confessions,
In the depth of the woods, among the babbling brooks,
Spell out the love of their timid adolescence
By carving the green wood of young saplings;
Others, like sisters, walk gravely and with slow steps
Among the high rocks peopled with apparitions,
Where Saint Anthony saw the naked, purple breasts
Of his temptations rise up like lava;
There are some who by the light of crumbling resin
In the silent void of the old pagan caverns
Call out for help from their screaming fevers to you
O Bacchus, who lull to sleep the ancient remorse!
And others, whose breasts love the feel of scapulars,
Who, concealing a whip under their long habits,
Mingle, in the dark woods and solitary nights,
The froth of pleasure with tears of torment.
O virgins, O demons, O monsters, O martyrs,
Great spirits, contemptuous of reality,
Seekers of the infinite, pious and satyric,
Sometimes full of cries, sometimes full of tears,
You whom my spirit has followed into your hell,
Poor sisters, I love you as much as I pity you,
For your gloomy sorrows, your unsatisfied thirsts,
And the urns of love with which your great hearts are filled!
|LES FEMMES DAMNÉES - Marco de Gastyne|