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Charles Baudelaire: The Complete Verse (2e)

Charles Baudelaire

Translated by Francis Scarfe

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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 0 856464 26 3
Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Edition: 2nd
Published: July 2011
216 x 138 x 43 mm
472 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author

    Le Chat

    Viens, mon beau chat, sur mon cœur amoureux;
         Retiens les griffes de ta patte,
    Et laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux,
         Mêlés de métal et d’agate.

    Lorsque mes doigts caressent à loisir
         Ta tête et ton dos élastique,
    Et que ma main s’enivre du plaisir
         De palper ton corps électrique,

    Je vois ma femme en esprit. Son regard,
         Comme le tien, aimable bête,
    Profond et froid, coupe et fend comme un dard,

         Et, des pieds jusques à la tête,
    Un air subtil, un dangereux parfum
         Nagent autour de son corps brun.


    The Cat

    Come now, my handsome cat, stretch on my loving heart, draw your claws in and let me lose myself in the metal and agate of your lovely eyes.
         When leisurely my fingers stroke your head and your elastic back, and my hand thrills from the feel of your electric body,
         then the image of the woman I love rises before me: her gaze, like yours, dear creature, is fathomless and cold, and as sharp and penetrating as a sting,
         and from head to foot an elusive atmosphere, a threatening perfume, swirls round her dusky limbs.

    [Pre-1844. Published 1854, Fleurs du mal 1857]

    This authoritative collection of Baudelaire’s complete verse highlights Les Fleurs du mal (1857), the defining poetry collection of the 19th century in France. It caused a scandal on its appearance, with six poems banned as offensive to public morals. This great collection is followed by Nouvelles Fleurs du mal (1868), Les Épaves (1866) and all Baudelaire’s juvenile and occasional verse, including Amoenitates Belgicae, his frivolous and scatological take on Belgium. It concludes with his verse translations and with the poems attributed to him.

    Francis Scarfe’s prose versions appear at the foot of pages. His lengthy introduction on the man, his circle and his poetry is an ideal entry-point for new readers.

    This second edition has been lightly revised and completely reset for a slightly more spacious, larger and easier-to-read format.


    Charles Baudelaire
    Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) was a poet, translator notably of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales, and literary and art critic. He began to write as a student in Lyons and after some vicissitudes lived in Paris. His turbulent life encompassed financial disaster and prosecution for obscenity and blasphemy. ... read more
    Francis Scarfe
    Francis Scarfe (1911–1986) was a lecturer in French poetry at Glasgow University before and again after World War II. From 1959 to 1978, he was director of the British Institute. In recognition of his contribution to Anglo-French cultural relations he was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (1962), and ... read more
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