melting & burning


Correspondences – Baudelaire
January 1, 2014, 7:32 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
— Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.

(1852-6)

 

Nature is a temple where living pillars
Let sometimes emerge confused words;
Man crosses it through forests of symbols
Which watch him with intimate eyes.
Like those deep echoes that meet from afar
In a dark and profound harmony,
As vast as night and clarity,
So perfumes, colors, tones answer each other.
There are perfumes fresh as children’s flesh,
Soft as oboes, green as meadows,
And others, corrupted, rich, triumphant,
Possessing the diffusion of infinite things,
Like amber, musk, incense and aromatic resin,
Chanting the ecstasies of spirit and senses.

— Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)

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A Summer Sonata – Celia Dropkin
November 2, 2013, 3:19 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

I bathed in fresh, clear waters,
I saw my white feet through a bright, green stream.
I walked home barefoot through a thick forest,
The forest breathed heavily and intoxicated me sweetly.
I emerged into a wide field,
The wind caressingly licked my feet.
They kissed the grass, and even the bite
Of a huge fly was passionately tender.

I came home full of ecstasy and love,
My heart beat quickly, I breathed hotly,
And everything was wonderful before my eyes,
As if a great happiness would happen to me.

And when the night came on still and hot,
Something sharp gnawed in me and pulled at my heart,
As if someone were kissing me in the night,
As if snakes were sucking me.