― WeeklyWeekly, Saturday, 17 May 2003 10:23 (nineteen years ago) link
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Saturday, 17 May 2003 11:05 (nineteen years ago) link
To swallow my abated sobs Nothing equals your bed's abyss.
Nothing could equal your bed's abyssWhen my silenced sobs must be swallowed;
To drown my sorrow there is no abyss,However deep, that can compare with your bed.
The structure of Les Fleurs du Mal remains a mystery to me, but here's a link that may shed some light:http://home.carolina.rr.com/alienfamily/flowers.htm
Hope it helps
― Daniel (dancity), Saturday, 17 May 2003 11:28 (nineteen years ago) link
― Daniel (dancity), Saturday, 17 May 2003 11:29 (nineteen years ago) link
― piscesboy, Saturday, 17 May 2003 13:58 (nineteen years ago) link
― daria g, Saturday, 17 May 2003 16:28 (nineteen years ago) link
― anthony easton (anthony), Saturday, 17 May 2003 17:16 (nineteen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Saturday, 17 May 2003 17:25 (nineteen years ago) link
― kephm, Saturday, 17 May 2003 18:05 (nineteen years ago) link
― WeeklyWeekly, Saturday, 17 May 2003 20:23 (nineteen years ago) link
― thom west (thom w), Saturday, 17 May 2003 20:32 (nineteen years ago) link
― WeeklyWeekly, Saturday, 17 May 2003 21:30 (nineteen years ago) link
My favourite Baudelaire translator is often Walter Martin, at least in terms of producing poetry that formally resembles the source, which is tough. As an example, here is a Baudelaire poem in French, followed by Howard's translation, and then Martin's.
Souvent, pour s'amuser, les hommes d'équipagePrennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,Que suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,Le navire glissant sur les goufres amers.
A peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,Que ces rois de l'azur, maladroits et honteux,Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanchesComes des avirons traîner à côté d'eux.
Ce voyageur ailé, come it est gauche et veule!Lui, naguère si beau, qu'il est comique et laid!L'un agace son bec avec un brûle-guele,L'autre mime, en boitant, l'infirme qui volait!
Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuéesQui hante la tempête et se rit de l'archer;Exilé sur le sol au mileu des huées,Ses ailes de géant l'empêchent de marcher.
THE ALBATROSS (trans. Howard)
Often to pass the time on board, the crewwill catch an albatross, one of those big birdswhich nonchalently chaperone a shipacross the bitter fathoms of the sea.
Tied to the deck, this sovereign of space,as if embarrassed by its clumsiness,pitiably lets its great white wingsdrag at its sides like a pair of unshipped oars.
How weak and awkward, even comicalthis traveller but lately so adoit -one deckhand sticks a pipestem in its beak,another mocks the cripple that once flew!
The Poet is like this monarch of the cloudsriding the storm above the marksman's range;exiled on the ground, hooted and jeered,he cannot walk because of his great wings.
THE ALBATROSS (trans. Martin)
Sometimes for cruel sport a crew will takeThe sky's leviathan, an albatross,That easygoing escort in the wakeOf vessels drifting on the salt abyss
Out of his element. A king of kings -But once the men have wrestled him aboard,Pathetically, he drags those futile wingsBehind him like a pair of great white oars.
This noble traveler, so graceful then,So awkward now, and comical, and meek -One sailor apes the sea-sick alien,Another sticks a pipestem in his beak!
Cloud-sovereign himself, the poet seemsTo rule the storm and taunt the crossbows's strings,But exiled on the earth in scornful times,Can never walk for such outlandish wings.
― Eyeball Kicks (Eyeball Kicks), Saturday, 17 May 2003 22:39 (nineteen years ago) link
― daria g, Sunday, 18 May 2003 01:23 (nineteen years ago) link
― Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Sunday, 18 May 2003 05:42 (nineteen years ago) link
― anthony easton (anthony), Sunday, 18 May 2003 06:17 (nineteen years ago) link
― daria g, Sunday, 18 May 2003 06:58 (nineteen years ago) link
“The Bad Glazier,” a translation by David Lehman of Charles Baudelaire’s poem, Le Mauvais vitrier , appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of The Antioch Review.
The Bad Glazierby Charles Baudelairetranslated by David Lehman There are people who live entirely in their minds and are totally impractical, utterly abstract, who can nevertheless, under the sway of some mysterious force, act so decisively even they cannot believe it. One fellow comes home, fearful of bad news, so he paces for a full hour in front of the concierge’s door, too nervous to knock but too irresolute to leave; another one holds onto a letter for a fortnight before he opens it; a third is still wondering, after six months have gone by, whether to do something he should have done a year ago. There are times when even such characters spring into action, rudely propelled by an irresistible force, like an arrow shot from a bow. The moralist and the physician, with their air of infallibility, cannot explain where this energy comes from or how a good-for-nothing idler or voluptuary, ordinarily incapable of running the simplest errand, can somehow tap into that surfeit of bravery that emboldens a man to perform the craziest and most reckless stunts. A friend of mine, as innocuous a daydreamer as has ever lived, once set a forest on fire just to see, he said, whether fire spreads as speedily as people think. Ten times the experiment failed. On the eleventh it succeeded all too well. Somebody else will light a cigar near a powder keg just to see, to know, to tempt destiny, to test his mettle, to gamble, to enjoy the pleasures of anxiety, or for no reason at all, on a whim, a piece of mischief born of idleness. For the twin cause of this energy is ennui and fantasy; and those in whom it manifests itself tend to be, as I have said, the laziest of day-dreaming louts. Someone too timid to meet your gaze, who needs to pluck up all his courage just to enter a cafe or step into the box office of a theater, where the ticket vendors appear vested with the majesty of Minos, Eacus, and Rhadamanthus, will suddenly stop an old man in the street, a stranger, and hug him with a big show of affection before an astonished crowd. Why? Because . . . because the man’s face struck him as irresistibly sympathetic? Maybe. But it is likely he had no idea why he acted as he did. More than once have I myself been the victim of these crises, these impulses that lead us to believe that we are possessed by malicious Demons, imps of the perverse that make us do their bidding, whether we will it or not. One morning I woke up in a bad mood, depressed, exhausted, yet motivated, as it seemed to me, to do something spectacular--to attempt some heroic exploit. That is when, alas, I opened the window. (Observe, please, that the mystical spirit, which, in some of us, is a sign neither of overwork nor affectation but of inspiration and good fortune, suggests, in the intensity of desire it rouses, a certain state of mind--hysterical in the view of doctors, satanic in the view of those who think more deeply than doctors -- in thethroes of which we may commit deeds as rash and dangerous as they are transgressive.) The first person I saw in the street below was a maker of window glass loudly hawking his wares. He virtually punctured the pestilential air of Paris with his shouts. I can’t say why the sight of this poor bastard filled me with a surge of violent hatred, but it did. “Hey,” I shouted, motioning him to come upstairs. I grinned at the thought that the glazier would have to climb six flights of narrow stairs and that his fragile cargo might not survive intact. And then there he was. I looked at the panes and said, “What! No colored glass? No rose-colored glass, red glass, blue glass? Where are the magic panes, the window-panes of paradise? What impudence! You barge into this humble neighborhood without even the decency to bring the glass that can make life beautiful.” And I pushed him down the stairs. I went to the balcony with a little flower pot and when he emerged in front of the door, I dropped my engine of war perpendicularly. The shock made him fall backward, breaking all the glass that remained of his itinerant stock. It sounded like the cracking of a crystal palace split by lightning. Drunk with the madness of the moment I shouted: “Make life beautiful! Make life beautiful!” These impulsive jests are not without their hazards, and sometimes there is a stiff price to pay. But what does an eternity of damnation matter to one who has found in a single instant an infinity of joy?
― j., Saturday, 20 August 2016 07:35 (six years ago) link