Tag Archives: charles baudelaire

Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) – Fassbinder’s 4th Film

23 Apr

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“The Death of Lovers”

We shall have beds full of subtle perfumes,
Divans as deep as graves, and on the shelves
Will be strange flowers that blossomed for us
Under more beautiful heavens.

Using their dying flames emulously,
Our two hearts will be two immense torches
Which will reflect their double light
In our two souls, those twin mirrors.

Some evening made of rose and of mystical blue
A single flash will pass between us
Like a long sob, charged with farewells;

And later an Angel, setting the doors ajar,
Faithful and joyous, will come to revive
The tarnished mirrors, the extinguished flames.

-Charles Baudelaire

trans. by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

(via fleursdumal.org)

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The American Soldier (1970) – Duels in Shadow

12 Apr

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“The Duel”

Two warriors rushed upon each other; their arms
Spattered the air with sparks and blood.
This fencing, this clashing of steel, are the uproar
Of youth when it becomes a prey to puling love.

The blades are broken! like our youth
My darling! But the teeth, the steely fingernails,
Soon avenge the sword and the treacherous dagger.
— O Fury of mature hearts embittered by love!

In the ravine haunted by lynxes and panthers,
Our heroes viciously clasping each other, rolled,
And their skin will put blooms on the barren brambles.

This abyss, it is hell, thronged with our friends!
Let us roll there without remorse, cruel amazon,
So the ardor of our hatred will be immortalized!

-Charles Baudelaire

trans. by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

(via fleursdumal.org)

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970) – Because the abyss moves

10 Apr

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“The Abyss”

Pascal had his abyss that moved along with him.
— Alas! all is abysmal, — action, desire, dream,
Word! and over my hair which stands on end
I feel the wind of Fear pass frequently.

Above, below, on every side, the depth, the strand,
The silence, space, hideous and fascinating…
On the background of my nights God with clever hands
Sketches an unending nightmare of many forms.

I’m afraid of sleep as one is of a great hole
Full of obscure horrors, leading one knows not where;
I see only infinite through every window,

And my spirit, haunted by vertigo, is jealous
Of the insensibility of nothingness.
— Ah! Never to go out from Numbers and Beings!

-Charles Baudelaire

trans. by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

(via fleursdumal.org)

Love Is Colder Than Death (1969) – Cupid & Psycho

7 Apr

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“Cupid and the Skull”

An Old Lamp Base

Cupid is seated on the skull
Of Humanity;
On this throne the impious one
With the shameless laugh

Is gaily blowing round bubbles
That rise in the air
As if they would rejoin the globes
At the ether’s end.

The sphere, fragile and luminous,
Takes flight rapidly,
Bursts and spits out its flimsy soul
Like a golden dream.

I hear the skull groan and entreat
At every bubble:
“When is this fierce, ludicrous game
To come to an end?

Because what your pitiless mouth
Scatters in the air,
Monstrous murderer — is my brain,
My flesh and my blood!”

—Charles Baudelaire

trans. by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

(via fleursdumal.org)

Baudelaire Gift of Flowers

28 Dec

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“The Enemy”

My youth has been nothing but a tenebrous storm,
Pierced now and then by rays of brilliant sunshine;
Thunder and rain have wrought so much havoc
That very few ripe fruits remain in my garden.

I have already reached the autumn of the mind,
And I must set to work with the spade and the rake
To gather back the inundated soil
In which the rain digs holes as big as graves.

And who knows whether the new flowers I dream of
Will find in this earth washed bare like the strand,
The mystic aliment that would give them vigor?

Alas! Alas! Time eats away our lives,
And the hidden Enemy who gnaws at our hearts
Grows by drawing strength from the blood we lose!

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

Baudelaire Midnight Tears Frozen Blue

28 Dec

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“Evil Fate”

To lift a weight so heavy,
Would take your courage, Sisyphus!
Although one’s heart is in the work,
Art is long and Time is short.
Far from famous sepulchers
Toward a lonely cemetery
My heart, like muffled drums,
Goes beating funeral marches.
Many a jewel lies buried
In darkness and oblivion,
Far, far away from picks and drills;
Many a flower regretfully
Exhales perfume soft as secrets
In a profound solitude.

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

Evil Flowers Openly

11 Nov

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“Before you, poor devil, of dear memory,
I felt all the beaks, and ravening claws,
of swooping ravens, dark panthers’ jaws,
that were once so fond of tearing at me.
– The sky was entrancing, so calm the sea,
but, to me, all was dark, and smeared with blood.”

-Charles Baudelaire

Vampire Film Poem (Baudry Lair)

10 Nov

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Le Vampire
Toi qui, comme un coup de couteau,
Dans mon coeur plaintif es entrée;
Toi qui, forte comme un troupeau
De démons, vins, folle et parée,
De mon esprit humilié
Faire ton lit et ton domaine;
— Infâme à qui je suis lié
Comme le forçat à la chaîne,
Comme au jeu le joueur têtu,
Comme à la bouteille l’ivrogne,
Comme aux vermines la charogne
— Maudite, maudite sois-tu!
J’ai prié le glaive rapide
De conquérir ma liberté,
Et j’ai dit au poison perfide
De secourir ma lâcheté.
Hélas! le poison et le glaive
M’ont pris en dédain et m’ont dit:
«Tu n’es pas digne qu’on t’enlève
À ton esclavage maudit,
Imbécile! — de son empire
Si nos efforts te délivraient,
Tes baisers ressusciteraient
Le cadavre de ton vampire!»
— Charles Baudelaire

The Vampire
You who, like the stab of a knife,
Entered my plaintive heart;
You who, strong as a herd
Of demons, came, ardent and adorned,
To make your bed and your domain
Of my humiliated mind
— Infamous bitch to whom I’m bound
Like the convict to his chain,
Like the stubborn gambler to the game,
Like the drunkard to his wine,
Like the maggots to the corpse,
— Accurst, accurst be you!
I begged the swift poniard
To gain for me my liberty,
I asked perfidious poison
To give aid to my cowardice.
Alas! both poison and the knife
Contemptuously said to me:
“You do not deserve to be freed
From your accursed slavery,
Fool! — if from her domination
Our efforts could deliver you,
Your kisses would resuscitate
The cadaver of your vampire!”
— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

The Vampire

You, who like a dagger ploughed
Into my heart with deadly thrill:
You who, stronger than a crowd
Of demons, mad, and dressed to kill,
Of my dejected soul have made
Your bed, your lodging, and domain:
To whom I’m linked (Unseemly jade!)
As is a convict to his chain,
Or as the gamester to his dice,
Or as the drunkard to his dram,
Or as the carrion to its lice —
I curse you. Would my curse could damn!
I have besought the sudden blade
To win for me my freedom back.
Perfidious poison I have prayed
To help my cowardice. Alack!
Both poison and the sword disdained
My cowardice, and seemed to say
“You are not fit to be unchained
From your damned servitude. Away,
You imbecile! since if from her empire
We were to liberate the slave,
You’d raise the carrion of your vampire,
By your own kisses, from the grave.”
— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)

The Vampire
Thou who abruptly as a knife
Didst come into my heart; thou who,
A demon horde into my life,
Didst enter, wildly dancing, through
The doorways of my sense unlatched
To make my spirit thy domain —
Harlot to whom I am attached
As convicts to the ball and chain,
As gamblers to the wheel’s bright spell,
As drunkards to their raging thirst,
As corpses to their worms — accurst
Be thou! Oh, be thou damned to hell!
I have entreated the swift sword
To strike, that I at once be freed;
The poisoned phial I have implored
To plot with me a ruthless deed.
Alas! the phial and the blade
Do cry aloud and laugh at me:
“Thou art not worthy of our aid;
Thou art not worthy to be free.
“Though one of us should be the tool
To save thee from thy wretched fate,
Thy kisses would resuscitate
The body of thy vampire, fool!”
— George Dillon, Flowers of Evil (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1936)

The Vampire
Thou, sharper than a dagger thrust
Sinking into my plaintive heart,
Thou, frenzied and arrayed in lust,
Strong as a demon host whose art
Possessed my humbled soul at last,
Made it thy bed and thy domain,
Strumpet, to whom I am bound fast
As is the convict to his chain,
The stubborn gambler to his dice,
The rabid drunkard to his bowl,
The carcass to its vermin lice —
O thrice-accursèd be thy soul!
I called on the swift sword to smite
One blow to free my life of this,
I begged perfidious aconite
For succor in my cowardice.
But sword and poison in my need
Heaped scorn upon my craven mood,
Saying: “Unworthy to be freed,
From thine accursed servitude,
O fool, if through our efforts, Fate
Absolved thee from thy sorry plight,
Thy kisses would resuscitate
Thy vampire’s corpse for thy delight.”
— Jacques LeClercq, Flowers of Evil (Mt Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1958)

The Vampire

You who, keen as a carving blade,
Into my plaintive heart has plunged,
You who, strong as a wild array
Of crazed and costumed cacodaemons,
Storming into my helpless soul
To make your bed and your domain;
— Tainted jade to whom I’m joined
Like a convict to his chain,
Like a gambler to his game,
Like a drunkard to his bottle,
Like maggot-worms to their cadaver,
Damn you, oh damn you I say!
I pleaded with the speedy sword
To win me back my liberty;
And finally, a desperate coward,
I turned to poison’s perfidy.
Alas, but poison and the sword
Had only scorn to offer me:
“You’re not worthy to be free
Of your wretched slavery,
You imbecile! — For if our means
Should release you from her reign,
You with your kisses would only breathe
New life into the vampire slain!”
— Atti Viragh