French Poet, Art Critic
Charles Pierre Baudelaire
French Poet, Art Critic
We have to add two rights to the list of human rights. The right to disorder and the right to leave
What is it that brings on these moods of yours?
Which one of us has not dreamed, on ambitious days, of the miracle of a poetic prose: musical, without rhythm or rhyme; adaptable enough and discordant enough to conform to the lyrical movements of the soul, the waves of revery, the jolts of consciousness? Above all else, it is residence in the teeming cities, it is the crossroads of numberless relations that gives birth to this obsessional ideal.
You shall suffer forever the influence of my kiss. You shall be beautiful in my fashion. You shall love that which I love and that which loves me: water, clouds, silence and the night; the immense green sea; the formless and multiform streams; the place where you shall not be; the lover whom you shall not know; flowers of monstrous shape; perfumes that cause delirium; cats that shudder, swoon and curl up on pianos and groan like women, with a voice that is hoarse and gentle! And you shall be loved by my lovers, courted by my courtiers. You shall be the queen of all men that have green eyes, whose necks also I have clasped in my nocturnal caresses; of those who love the sea, the sea that is immense, tumultuous and green, the formless and multiform streams, the place where they are not, the woman whom they do not know, sinister flowers that resemble the censers of a strange religion, perfumes that confound the will; and the savage and voluptuous animals which are the emblems of their dementia.
We looked oblivion-n love: what good! For me love is all a bed of thorns, made let these girls drinking terrible!
What is love? The need to come out of himself. Man is a doting animal. Worship is self-sacrifice? So it is all the love of prostitution. Of all the creatures prostitute is the highest creature, God, because he is each individual's supreme friend, because he is the common love , an inexhaustible source.
Who among us has not dreamt, in moments of ambition, of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical without rhythm and rhyme, supple and staccato enough to adapt to the lyrical stirrings of the soul, the undulations of dreams, and sudden leaps of consciousness.
You walk on corpses, beauty, undismayed.
We love women in proportion to their degree of strangeness to us.
What is that sad, black island like a pall? Why, Cytherea, famed in many a book, the Eldorado of old-stagers. Look: It's but a damned poor country after all!
Who are the unfortunates who did not calm afternoon, and take, like owls, the arrival of the night by signal coven?
We revel in the laxness of the path we take.
What matter, if you make - fairy with velvet eyes.
Who dares, in front of Love, to mention Hell? Curbed forever be that useless dreamer who first imagined, in his brutish mind, of sheer futility the fatuous schemer, honor with Love could ever be combined. He who in mystic union would enmesh shadow with warmth, and daytime with the night, will never warm his paralytic flesh at the red sun of amorous delight. Go, if you wish, and seek some boorish lover: offer your virgin heart to his crude hold, full of remorse and horror you'll recover, and bring me your scarred breast to be consoled... Down here, a soul can only serve one master.
We should work: if not by preference, at least out of despair. All things considered, work is less boring than amusement.
What matters an eternity of damnation to someone who has found in one second the infinity of joy?
Who haunts the tempest and laughs at the archer.
What a mysterious faculty is that queen of the faculties!
What men call love is a very small, restricted, feeble thing compared with this ineffable orgy, this divine prostitution of the soul giving itself entire, all its poetry and all its charity, to the unexpected as it comes along, to the stranger as he passes.
Who would dare assign to art the sterile function of imitating nature?
What can an eternity of damnation matter to someone who has felt, if only for a second, the infinity of delight?
What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters.
With heart at rest I climbed the citadel's steep height, and saw the city as from a tower, hospital, brothel, prison, and such hells, where evil comes up softly like a flower. Thou knowest, O Satan, patron of my pain, not for vain tears I went up at that hour; but like an old sad faithful lecher, fain to drink delight of that enormous trull whose hellish beauty makes me young again. Whether thou sleep, with heavy vapors full, sodden with day, or, new appareled, stand in gold-laced veils of evening beautiful, I love thee, infamous city! Harlots and hunted have pleasures of their own to give, the vulgar herd can never understand.
What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound than a portrait.
When a singer puts his hand on his heart, it means usually, I will always love you!