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Complete Poems (3e)
Translated by Walter Martin
Categories: 19th Century, French, Translation
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback 3e (448 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2007)
A gradual numbness spreads through streets and homes.
Be patient, Pain, and tranquillised, at best;
You wanted Evening back, and here it comes,
Bringing anxiety to some, to others rest.
While mortal vermin race to harvest shame
And kiss relentless Pleasure's whip as fast
As it can punish them, and make them swarm,
Walk hand in hand away with me at last,
Far from it all. The Past, in faded gown,
From her dress circle in the sky leans down.
See how Regret smiles, rising from the deep;
The Sun, under a bridge, dies in his sleep.
And all across the West -- Listen, sweet Pain!
The Night unfurls her winding-sheet again.
on the author, cringing demiurge, who picks up
his litter and his tools and paces me back
to bed, stealthily in step.
Rimbaud called him `le premier voyant, roi des poetes, un vrai dieu', and the history of modern poetry, which begins with him, has borne out that opinion. This is a comprehensive new translation of all Baudelaire's poetry, excluding only the juvenilia, occasional verse and work of doubtful attribution. It includes all the poems published in the first (1857) and second (1861) editions of the book, as well as those added to the third (1868), published after the poet's death. Baudelaire contemplated a volume of poems that would `launch him into the future like a cannonball', and here it is in vivid and formally authoritative translation.
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