Invitation to the Voyage – Charles Baudelaire (trans Beverley Bie Brahic)
“Baudelaire is indeed the greatest exemplar in modern poetry in any language,” said T. S. Eliot.
We experience Baudelaire in myriad ways through his multifaceted writing. His sensuous poems–dreams of escape to an impossible, preferably tropical, elsewhere–draw us in with their descriptive and perceptual richness. There is also the bitter, compassionate, and desolate Baudelaire.
Ultimately, Baudelaire’s true genius might reside in his expressive force and in the tension between his passions and intellect. The latter is most evident in his control of rhetoric and poetic form, and–given the poems’ density of language, thought, and feeling–his astonishing clarity. This new English rendition of Baudelaire by award-winning translator Beverley Bie Brahic includes poems from his celebrated volumes: Les Fleurs du mal, Les Epaves, Le Spleen de Paris, and Paradis artificiels.
It also includes several of his prose poems, as well as an excerpt from his famous essay on wine and hashish. The poems in verse have Baudelaire’s French originals on facing pages; the prose poems, unaccompanied by their originals, are printed near the poems in verse with which they resonate. Complete with the translator’s illuminating introduction and notes, this beautifully crafted volume is an important addition to Baudelaire’s work in English translation.
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