Charles Baudelaire :: svět prokletého básníka :: Poezie a próza
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české překlady

Květy zla

Malé básně v próze

Báseň o hašiši


Důvěrný deník

originale française

Les fleurs du mal

Petits poemes en prose

La Fanfarlo

Baudelaire in English

» The Flowers of Evil «

To the Reader

Spleen and the Ideal
The Albatross
The Elevation
I love the thought...
The Beacons
The Sicks Muse
The Venal Muse
The Wretched Monk
The Enemy
Ill Fortune
A Former Life
Gypsies Travelling
Man and the Sea
Don Juan in Hell
Punishment for Pride
The Ideal
The Giantess
The Mask
Hymn to Beauty
The Jewels
Exotic Parfume
Head of Hair
I love you as I love...
You'd entertain the universe...
Sed non satiata
The way her silky garments...
The Dancing Serpent
A Carcass
De profundis clamavi
The Vampyre
Beside a monstrous Jewish whore...
Remorse after Death
The Cat
The Balcony
The Possessed
A Phantom
I give to you these verses...
Semper Eadem
Completely One
What will you say tonight...
The Living Torch
To One Who Is Too Cheerful
The Spiritual Dawn
The Harmony of Evening
The Flask
Misty Sky
The Cat
The Splendid Ship
Invitation to the Voyage
The Irreparable
Autumn Song
To a Madonna
Song of the Afternoon
Praises for My Francisca
For a Creole Lady
Moesta et errabunda
The Ghost
Autumn Sonnet
Sorrows of the Moon
The Pipe
A Fantastical Engraving
The Happy Corpse
The Cask of Hate
The Cracked Bell
The Taste for Nothingness
Alchemy of Suffering
Congenial Horror
Prayer of a Pagan
The Pot Lid
Midnight Examination
Sad Madrigal
The Cautioner
The Rebel
Very Far From France
The Gulf
Lament of an Icarus
The Irremediable
The Clock

Parisian Scenes
The Sun
The Insulted Moon
To a Red-Haired Beggar Girl
The Swan
The Seven Old Man
The Little Old Women
The Blind
To a Woman Passing By
Skeletons Digging
Danse macabre
The Love of Illusion
I have not forgotten...
That kind heart you were jealous of...
Mists and Rains
Parisian Dream

The Soul of Wine
The Ragman's Wine
The Murderer's Wine
The Solitary's Wine
The Lovers' Wine

Flowers of Evil
Epigraph for a Condemned Book
A Martyr
Condemned Women: Delphine and Hippolyta
Condemned Women
The Two Good Sisters
The Fountain of Blood
A Beatrice
The Metamorphoses of the Vampire
A Voyage to Cythera
Passion and the Skull

St Peter's Denial
Abel and Cain
Litanies of Satan

The Death of Lovers
The Death of the Poor
The Death of Artists
Day's End
Dream of a Curious Man
» Voyaging «

To Theodore de Banville

The Waifs
The Setting of the Romantic Sun

The Fountain
Bertha's Eyes
A Face Makes Promises
The Monster

Poem on the Portrait of Honoré Daumier
Lola de Valence
On Tasso in Prison

Diverse Pieces
The Voice
The Unforeseen
The Ransom
To a Girl of Malabar

On the Debut of Amina Boschetti
To M. Eugene Fromentin
A Jolly Tavern

Prose Poems



Malý koutek poezie

Malý koutek poezie


The Flowers of Evil

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for Maxime du Camp


The wide-eyed child in love with maps and plans
Finds the world equal to his appetite.
How grand the universe by light of lamps,
How petty in the memory's clear sight.

One day we leave, with fire in the brain,
Heart great with rancour, bitter in its mood;
Outward we travel on the rolling main,
Lulling infinity in finitude:

Some gladly flee their homelands gripped in vice,
Some, horrors of their childhood, others still -
Astrologers lost in a woman's eyes -
Some perfumed Circe with a tyrant's will.

Not to become a beast, each desperate one
Makes himself drunk on space and blazing skies;
The gnawing ice, the copper-burning sun
Efface the scars of kisses and of lies.

But the true voyagers set out to sea
Just for the leaving's sake; hearts lift aloft,
Nothing dissuades them from their destiny,
Something beyond their knowing cries, 'We're off!'

These, then, whose ecstasies are wide as air
As conscripts dream of cannons, have their dreams
Of luxuries beyond what man can bear,
Such as the soul has neither named nor seen.


Our actions are grotesque - in leaps and bounds
We waltz like balls or tops; when day is done
Our curiosity rolls us around
As if a cruel Angel lashed the sun.

Strange thing it is, to chase a shifting fake -
A goal that's nowhere, anywhere at all!
Man, whose anticipation stays awake,
To find his rest goes racing like a fool!

Our soul's three-master seeks the blessed isle:
A voice on deck shouts 'Ho there, have a look!'
Some crow's-nest spy cries in romantic style
'Love ... glory ... happiness!' Damn, just a rock!

Each isle is named the long-awaited sight,
The Eldorado· of our Destiny;
Fancy, that grows us orgies in the night,
Breaks on a reef in morning's clarity.

Oh, the inebriate of distant lands,
This sot who sees Americas at will,
Must he be chained, abandoned on the sands,
Whose visions make the gulf more bitter still?

So the old tramp who shumes in the filth
Dreams of a paradise and lifts his head -
In his wild eyes, Capua and her wealth
Wherever candle glow lights up a shed.


Fabulous voyagers! What histories
Are there behind your deep and distant stare!
Show us the treasures of your memories,
Those jewels and riches made of stars and air.

We're travellers afraid of steam and sail!
Here in our prison every day's the same.
Oh, paint across the canvas of our souls
Your memoirs, with horizon as their frame.

Tell us, what have you seen?


'We've seen the stars
And waves, and we have seen the sandy shores;
Despite disasters, all our jolts and jars,
On sea, on land we find that we are bored.

The glorious sun across the violet sea,
Great sunlit cities dreaming as they lie,
Made our heart yearn with fierce intensity
To plunge towards those reflections in the sky.

Rich cities, and the grandest mountain spires
Somehow could never hold the same allure
As shifting clouds, the shape of our desires,
Which left us unfulfilled and insecure.

- Surely enjoyment quickens passion's spark.
Desire, old tree, that fattens on delight,
As you grow older, toughening your bark,
You want to see the sun from nearer height!

Do you grow always taller, grandest tree,
Older than cypress? - Still, we have with care
Brought sketch-book pieces from across the sea
For brothers who love all that's strange and rare!

Idols with trunks we've greeted in our time;
Great palaces enwrought with filigree
And jewelled thrones in luminous design,
To send your brokers dreams of bankruptcy;

Scant costumes that can stupefy the gaze
On painted women, every nail and tooth,
And subtle jugglers, wise in serpents' ways.'


And then, and then what more?


'0 childish dupes!

You want the truth? We'll tell you without fail -
We never thought to search it out, but saw
From heights to depths, through all the mortal scale
The numbing spectacle of human flaw.

Woman, vile slave, proud in stupidity,
Tasteless and humourless in self-conceit;
Man, greedy tyrant, lustful, slovenly,
Slave of the slave, a sewer in the street;

The hangman jokes, the martyr sobs and faints,
The feast of blood is seasoned perfectly;
Poison of power drains a tyrant's strength,
Whose subjects love the whip's brutality.

Religions like our own in most details
Climb skyward on their saints, who it is said
Indulge their lusts with hairshirts, or with nails,
As dainty fops sprawl on a feather bed.

Drunk on her genius, Humanity,
Mad now as she has always been, or worse,
Cries to her God in raging agony:
"Master, my image, damn you with this curse!"

Not quite so foolish, bold demented ones
Flee from the feeding lot that holds the herd;
Their boundless shelter is in opium.
- From all the world, such always is the word.'


How bitter, what we learn from voyaging!
The small and tedious world gives us to see
Now, always, the real horror of the thing,
Ourselves-that sad oasis in ennui!

Must one depart? or stay? Stand it and stay,
Leave if you must. One runs, one finds a space
To hide and cheat the deadly enemy
Called Time. Alas, some run a constant race -

The twelve apostles, or the Wandering Jew -
For them no ship avails, no ways or means
To flee that gladiator; others know
From infancy how to defeat the fiend.

Finally, though, his boot is on our chest;
Then may we hope, and call out 'Onward ho!'
Even as once we set out for the East,
Our eyes fixed widely, hair blown to and fro,

Now sailing on the sea of shades we go,
With all the plans of passengers well-pleased
To hear the voice, funereal and low,
That sings: 'This way! Come here and take your ease

And eat the Lotus! Here we gather in
These fruits for hearts that yearn for strange delights;
Intoxicate yourselves on alien
Enjoyment through these days without a night.'

We understand the phantom's friendly part,
That Pylades who reaches out to tease:
'Swim towards Electra now, to ease your heart!'
She cries, and long ago we kissed her knees.


O Death, old captain, time to make our trip!
This country bores us, Death! Let's get away!
Even if sky and sea are black as pitch
You know our hearts are full of sunny rays!

Serve us your poison, sir, to treat us well!
Minds burning, we know what we have to do,
And plunge to depths of Heaven or of Hell,
To fathom the Unknown, and find the new!

Přeložil James McGowan

originale française: CXXVI. Le Voyage

český překlad: Cesta

Maxime du Camp: a secondary literary figure, never one of Baudelaire's close friends, who had published a poem entitled 'The Voyager' in his Chants modernes, the preface of which extols technological progress. Thus there is an irony involved in this dedication: Baudelaire knew well that his poem mocks du Camp's facile confidence in progress.
Circe: the enchantress in Homer's Odyssey, capable of turning men into swine.
the blessed isle: the 'Isles of the Blessed', where heroes went after death, was one of the concepts of the afterlife in Greek mythology. Here it simply stands for any imaginary Utopia.
Eldorado: city of gold; this is another expression of the soul's imaginary destiny.
Capua: an ancient Roman city on the Appian Way near Naples, noted for its wide streets.
'Master, my image, damn you with this curser: people take their Master (God) to be comparable to themselves as they curse Him.
the Wandering Jew: a legendary figure who, for mocking Christ at His crucifixion, was condemned to wander the world until Judgement Day. He and the twelve apostles are compared to Christians in a Roman arena, forced to flee a gladiator to survive. eat the Lotus: in the Odyssey, some of Odysseus' crew became drugged in the Land of the Lotus Eaters, and lost all interest in their voyage. Baudelaire is probably thinking specifically of Tennyson's poem 'The Lotos-Eaters'.
Pylades: friend of Orestes in Greek legend; symbol of the faithful friend.
Eleara: the faithful sister of Orestes; in one version of the legend she married Pylades.
sunny rays: Maxime du Camp's blandly optimistic voyager 'carries in his heart God's sunny rays'.
To fathom the Unknown, the find the new: similar to the sentiment in the prose poem 'Any Where Out of the World'. :: Since 2002 :: Based On Layout Designed By Danny Is On Fire Productions © 2006