NR Digital

Poetry

by Charles Baudelaire

CONVERSATION

You are a lovely sky of autumn, clear and rose!
But inside me, grief is rising, like the sea,
Leaving as it ebbs upon my lip morose,
Bitter culinary silts of memory.

– Vainly does your hand slide on my swooning breast;
This place it is seeking has been pillaged, friend,
By the woman’s tooth-and-claw ferociousness.
My heart was eaten by the beasts. Let searching end.

My heart is like a palace ransacked by a riot;
One gets drunk there, one pulls hair there, one is quiet!
– Around your naked neck is swimming a perfume! . . .

O Beauty, scourge of hearts, this thing you would consume!
With your eyes of fire, akin to brilliant feasts,
Burn to ash these remnants salvaged by the beasts!

translated by Jennifer Reeser

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