Poem of the Month - Correspondances by Charles Baudelaire

Tuesday, October 1, 2019



Correspondances Correspondences
French English
La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers Nature is a temple in which living pillars
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles; Sometimes give voice to confused words;
L'homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles Man passes there through forests of symbols
Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers. Which look at him with understanding eyes.
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité, In a deep and tenebrous unity,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté, Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent. Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond.
II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants, There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies, Sweet as oboes, green as meadows
— Et d'autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants, — And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant,
Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies, With power to expand into infinity,
Comme l'ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l'encens, Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin,
Qui chantent les transports de l'esprit et des sens. That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses.
— Charles Baudelaire. Les Fleurs du mal (1861) 


— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)





xoxo - Erica






[Poem cited from FleursDuMal.org, "Fleursdumal.org is dedicated to the French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867) and his poems Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil). The definitive online edition of this masterpiece of French literature, Fleursdumal.org contains every poem of each edition of Les Fleurs du mal, together with multiple English translations." - Fleursdumal.org]

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