from Flowers of Evil

Charles Baudelaire is acknowledged as the greatest French poet of the 19th century, and Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du Mal) is his great work. 

It’s regrettable that I can’t read French, but one thing that can provide lasting amusement is seeking out different translations for comparison. 

Here are two stanzas from A Madigral of Sorrow. This translation is by F.P. Sturm, and appears in the New Directions edition pictured below.

   
 

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Baudelaire Quote

410px-Portrait_de_Charles_Baudelaire_sous_l'influence_du_hachich“This life is a hospital in which every patient is haunted by the desire to change beds.”

— from “The Parisian Prowler” by Charles Baudelaire

Translated by Edward K. Kaplan

I recommend this translation; I found it better than the Louise Varèse’s translation, entitled “Paris Spleen.”

(right: A self-portrait of Charles Baudelaire)