Complete Poems: Charles Baudelaire

A poet’s freedom lies precisely in the impossibility of worldly success. It is the freedom of one who knows he will never be anything but a failure in the world’s estimation, and may do as he pleases. The poet is a man on the sidelines of life, sidelined for life. He belongs to the aristocracy of the outcast, the lowest of the low, below the salt of the earth. A member of the most ancient regime in the world. One that cannot, it seems, be overthrown.

Ce drag? mi-ai fi,Noapte,când stelele s-ar stinge:lumina lor îngân? un cântec cunoscut;iar eu vreau tot ce-i negru ?i gol ?i ?ters ?i mut!

Cum al?ii prin iubire-ar vrea,s? st?pâneasc? via?a ta,eu vreau s-o st?pânesc prin groaz?.

Doar moartea consoleaz? ?i-ndeamn? a tr?i;e idealul vie?ii ?i e n?dejdea toat?,e elixirul care ne-anim? ?i ne-mbat? ?i care d? puterea s? mai tr?im o zi.

Scent, sound or sight, beneficent, malign – Who cares if you’re a blessing or a curse, So long as you bring light,

Tu,care-mi legeni somnul cu mângâieri u?oare
S? nu ?tii niciodat? cumplitu-mi nenoroc
Nici taina scris?-n mine cu litere de foc!
De patim? mi-e sil? ?i orice gând m? doare…

Why did Baudelaire — why does anyone — write poetry, in the teeth of all the evidence that one wants you to do so? No one wants you to write it and having written it in spite of them, no one wants to read it. Above all, no one wants to pay for it. For better or worse, a poem has a hard time turning into a commodity.