Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century. Baudelaire’s highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé among many others. He is credited with coining the term “modernity” (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience.
Charles Pierre Baudelaire poems translated by William Aggeler
You can scorn more illustrious eyes,
sweet eyes of my child, through which there takes flight
something as good or as tender as night.
Turn to mine your charmed shadows, sweet eyes!
Great eyes of a child…
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