Sunday, December 25, 2011

A new blog

Color Book

I will be posting here until I decide what to do with this one.

Happy Holidays!!!:-)))

S.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Changes

This blog will go through some changes soon, so there won´t be any updates at least until mid-January. Meanwhile, you can follow my Facebook page - see link on the right.

Thank you all!

:-)

S.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I will be silent for a while....

It is not what I expected Santa to bring me this year. Only yesterday I almost bought an external hard drive, giving up at the last minute. Had I bought it, this would not have happened.

My pen drived just crashed. It is not the worst that could happen to anyone, but lost EVERYTHING that was in there - personal files, my writings, ebook collection, my image collection.... including the ones I used to post here daily. I spent years gathering all that and now it us gone It had been a while since I backed up some of it, so it is amazing how much data I lost. Only last week I deleted my entire collection of vintage postcards from my computer in order to free some memory space... Now it is all gone.

I will have to start all over again and it won´t be easy, I am not even sure I can. I will not abandon this blog, but I will probably be silent for a while.

Thank you all!

Wish me luck!

:-)

Sandra

Hard to plan

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

E.B. White

Memories

“And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves—not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

The best

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.”

Jane Austen

Looking out

“In looking out upon the universe, we forget that the universe is looking at itself.”

Alan Watts

My favorite feeling in the world



“I go back to the reading room, where I sink down in the sofa and into the world of The Arabian Nights. Slowly, like a movie fadeout, the real world evaporates. I’m alone, inside the world of the story. My favorite feeling in the world.”

Haruki Murakami

It does

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

William James

Within

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.”

Henry David Thoreau

When you sell a man a book

“When you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.”

Christopher Morley

Fool

Every fool finds a greater one to admire them.

Bioleau

Friday, December 16, 2011

Misunderstood

"Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood."

Friedrich Nietzsche

Knowing your darkness

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”

C.G. Jung

Sheltered

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom: absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this or die like this without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”

Anaïs Nin

Dwell

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

Marcus Aurelius

Infinitely stranger

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Memory

“Memory is a snare, pure and simple; it alters, it subtly rearranges the past to fit the present.”

Mario Vargas Llosa

I Have Lived With Shades



I

I have lived with shades so long,
And talked to them so oft,
Since forth from cot and croft
I went mankind among,
That sometimes they
In their dim style
Will pause awhile
To hear my say;

II

And take me by the hand,
And lead me through their rooms
In the To-be, where Dooms
Half-wove and shapeless stand:
And show from there
The dwindled dust
And rot and rust
Of things that were.

III

"Now turn," spake they to me
One day: "Look whence we came,
And signify his name
Who gazes thence at thee." -
--"Nor name nor race
Know I, or can,"
I said, "Of man
So commonplace.

IV

"He moves me not at all;
I note no ray or jot
Of rareness in his lot,
Or star exceptional.
Into the dim
Dead throngs around
He'll sink, nor sound
Be left of him."

V

"Yet," said they, "his frail speech,
Hath accents pitched like thine -
Thy mould and his define
A likeness each to each -
But go! Deep pain
Alas, would be
His name to thee,
And told in vain!"

"O memory, where is now my youth,
Who used to say that life was truth?"

"I saw him in a crumbled cot
Beneath a tottering tree;
That he as phantom lingers there
Is only known to me."

"O Memory, where is now my joy,
Who lived with me in sweet employ?"

"I saw him in gaunt gardens lone,
Where laughter used to be;
That he as phantom wanders there
Is known to none but me."

"O Memory, where is now my hope,
Who charged with deeds my skill and scope?"

"I saw her in a tomb of tomes,
Where dreams are wont to be;
That she as spectre haunteth there
Is only known to me."

"O Memory, where is now my faith,
One time a champion, now a wraith?"

"I saw her in a ravaged aisle,
Bowed down on bended knee;
That her poor ghost outflickers there
Is known to none but me."

"O Memory, where is now my love,
That rayed me as a god above?"

"I saw him by an ageing shape
Where beauty used to be;
That his fond phantom lingers there
Is only known to me."

Thomas Hardy

Who ever desired each other as we do?



Who ever desired each other as we do? Let us look
for the ancient ashes of hearts that burned,
and let our kisses touch there, one by one,
till the flower, disembodied, rises again.

Let us love that Desire that consumed its own fruit
and went down, aspect and power, into the earth:
We are its continuing light,
its indestructible, fragile seed

Pablo Neruda

Throw your dreams

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

Anais Nin

Real

“Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us?”

Cornelia Funke

Apology



I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.

Gary Paulsen

The cosmos is within us

The Universe is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.  Our contemplations of the cosmos stir us.
There’s a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation as if a distant memory of falling from a great height.  We know we are approaching the grandest of mysteries.  The cosmos is within us. We are made of star stuff."

Carl Sagan

That perfect tranquility

"That perfect tranquility of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library."

Aphra Behn

Too young

He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past."

Gabriel García Márquez

The worst loneliness

"The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself."

Mark Twain

Time

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

J.R.R. Tolkien

I would rather

"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze that it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."

Jack London

To One in Paradise



Thou wast all that to me, love,
...For which my soul did pine--
A green isle in the sea, love,
...A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
...And all the flowers were mine.

Now all my days are trances,
...And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
...And where thy footstep gleams--
In what ethereal dances,
...By what eternal streams!

Edgar Allan Poe

Experience

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

Vernon Sanders Law

Matter and mind

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.

Berkeley, George

Thursday, December 15, 2011

From me



Know you appear
Vivid at my side,
Denying you sprang out of my head,
Claiming you feel
Love fiery enough to prove flesh real,
Though it’s quite clear
All you beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear,
From me.

S. Plath

Always

“We are always the same age inside. ”

Gertrude Stein”

A Farewell



I

My fairest child, I have no song to give you;
No lark could pipe to skies so dull and grey:
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you
For every day.

II

Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;
Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
And so make life, death, and that vast for-ever
One grand, sweet song.

Charles Kingsley

Last Night As I Was Sleeping



Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

Antonio Machado

Her Last Letter



Sitting alone by the window,
Watching the moonlit street,
Bending my head to listen
To the well-known sound of your feet,
I have been wondering, darling,
How I can bear the pain,
When I watch, with sighs and tear-wet eyes;
And wait for your coming in vain.


For I know that a day approaches
When your heart will tire of me;
When by door and gate I may watch and wait
For a form I shall not see.
When the love that is now my heaven,
The kisses that make my life,
You will bestow on another,
And that other will be-your wife.


You will grow weary of sinning
(Though you do not call it so),
You will long for a love that is purer
Than the love that we two know.
God knows I have loved you dearly,
With a passion strong as true;
But you will grow tired and leave me,
Though I gave up all for you.


I was as pure as the morning
When I first looked on your face;
I knew I never could reach you
In your high, exalted place.
But I looked and loved and worshiped
As a flower might worship a star,
And your eyes shone down upon me,
And you seemed so far-so far.


And then? Well, then, you loved me,
Loved me with all your heart;
But we could not stand at the altar,
We were so far apart.
If a star should wed with a flower
The star must drop from the sky,
Or the flower in trying to reach it
Would droop on its stalk and die.


But you said that you loved me, darling,
And swore by the heavens above
That the Lord and all of His angels
Would sanction and bless our love.
And I? I was weak, not wicked.
My love was as pure as true,
And sin itself seemed a virtue
If only shared by you.


We have been happy together,
Though under the cloud of sin,
But I know that the day approaches
When my chastening must begin.
You have been faithful and tender,
But you will not always be,
And I think I had better leave you
While your thoughts are kind of me.


I know my beauty is fading-
Sin furrows the fairest brow-
And I know that your heart will weary
Of the face you smile on now.
You will take a bride to your bosom
After you turn from me;
You will sit with your wife in the moonlight,
And hold her babe on your knee.


Oh, God! I never could bear it;
It would madden my brain, I know;
And so while you love me dearly
I think I had better go.
It is sweeter to feel, my darling-
To know as I fall asleep-
That some one will mourn me and miss me,
That some one is left to weep,


Than to die as I should in the future,
To drop in the street some day,
Unknown, unwept and forgotten
After you cast me away.
Perhaps the blood of the Saviour
Can wash my garments clean;
Perchance I may drink of the waters
That flow through pastures green.


Perchance we may meet in heaven,
And walk in the streets above,
With nothing to grieve us or part us
Since our sinning was all through love.
God says, 'Love one another,'
And down to the depths of hell
Will he send the soul of a women
Because she loved-and fell?

And so in the moonlight he found her,
Or found her beautiful clay,
Lifeless and pallid as marble,
For the spirit had flown away.
The farewell words she had written
She held to her cold, white breast,
And the buried blade of a dagger
Told how she had gone to rest.


Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Expectation—is Contentment



Expectation—is Contentment—
Gain—Satiety—
But Satiety—Conviction
Of Necessity

Of an Austere trait in Pleasure—
Good, without alarm
Is a too established Fortune—
Danger—deepens Sum—


Emily Dickinson

Miracles



WHY! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the
water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with
any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon, 10
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down--or of stars shining so quiet
and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best--
mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans--or to the soiree--or to the opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old
woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial, 20
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring--yet each distinct, and in its place.

To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women,
and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

To me the sea is a continual miracle; 30
The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships,
with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?


Walt Whitman

The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part II: To Juliet: XLV



THE SAME CONTINUED

Do you remember how I laughed at you
In the Beaulieu woods, and how I made my peace?
It was your thirtieth birthday, and you threw
Stones like a school--girl at the chestnut trees.
The heavens were light above us and the breeze.
Your Corydon and all the merry crew
Had wandered to a distance, busier bees
Than we, who cared not where the hazels grew.
We were alone at last. I had been teasing
You with the burden of years left behind.
You were too fair to find my wit displeasing,
And I too tender to be less than kind.
Your pebbles struck me. ``Wretch,'' I cried. The word
Entered our hearts that instant like a sword.


Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

June



SHE behind yon mountain lives,
Who my love's sweet guerdon gives.
Tell me, mount, how this can be!
Very glass thou seem'st to me,
And I seem to be close by,
For I see her drawing nigh;
Now, because I'm absent, sad,
Now, because she sees me, glad!

Soon between us rise to sight
Valleys cool, with bushes light,
Streams and meadows; next appear

Mills and wheels, the surest token
That a level spot is near,

Plains far-stretching and unbroken.
And so onwards, onwards roam,
To my garden and my home!

But how comes it then to pass?
All this gives no joy, alas!--
I was ravish'd by her sight,
By her eyes so fair and bright,
By her footstep soft and light.
How her peerless charms I praised,
When from head to foot I gazed!
I am here, she's far away,--
I am gone, with her to stay.

If on rugged hills she wander,

If she haste the vale along,
Pinions seem to flutter yonder,

And the air is fill'd with song;
With the glow of youth still playing,

Joyous vigour in each limb,
One in silence is delaying,

She alone 'tis blesses him.

Love, thou art too fair, I ween!
Fairer I have never seen!
From the heart full easily
Blooming flowers are cull'd by thee.
If I think: "Oh, were it so,"
Bone and marrow seen to glow!
If rewarded by her love,
Can I greater rapture prove?

And still fairer is the bride,
When in me she will confide,
When she speaks and lets me know
All her tale of joy and woe.
All her lifetime's history
Now is fully known to me.
Who in child or woman e'er
Soul and body found so fair?


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Resumé



Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.


Dorothy Parker

A Swimmer's Dream



Somno mollior unda

I
Dawn is dim on the dark soft water,
Soft and passionate, dark and sweet.
Love's own self was the deep sea's daughter,
Fair and flawless from face to feet,
Hailed of all when the world was golden,
Loved of lovers whose names beholden
Thrill men's eyes as with light of olden
Days more glad than their flight was fleet.

So they sang: but for men that love her,
Souls that hear not her word in vain,
Earth beside her and heaven above her
Seem but shadows that wax and wane.
Softer than sleep's are the sea's caresses,
Kinder than love's that betrays and blesses,
Blither than spring's when her flowerful tresses
Shake forth sunlight and shine with rain.

All the strength of the waves that perish
Swells beneath me and laughs and sighs,
Sighs for love of the life they cherish,
Laughs to know that it lives and dies,
Dies for joy of its life, and lives
Thrilled with joy that its brief death gives --
Death whose laugh or whose breath forgives
Change that bids it subside and rise.

II
Hard and heavy, remote but nearing,
Sunless hangs the severe sky's weight,
Cloud on cloud, though the wind be veering
Heaped on high to the sundawn's gate.
Dawn and even and noon are one,
Veiled with vapour and void of sun;
Nought in sight or in fancied hearing
Now less mighty than time or fate.

The grey sky gleams and the grey seas glimmer,
Pale and sweet as a dream's delight,
As a dream's where darkness and light seem dimmer,
Touched by dawn or subdued by night.
The dark wind, stern and sublime and sad,
Swings the rollers to westward, clad
With lustrous shadow that lures the swimmer,
Lures and lulls him with dreams of light.

Light, and sleep, and delight, and wonder,
Change, and rest, and a charm of cloud,
Fill the world of the skies whereunder
Heaves and quivers and pants aloud
All the world of the waters, hoary
Now, but clothed with its own live glory,
That mates the lightning and mocks the thunder
With light more living and word more proud.

III
Far off westward, whither sets the sounding strife,
Strife more sweet than peace, of shoreless waves whose glee
Scorns the shore and loves the wind that leaves them free,
Strange as sleep and pale as death and fair as life,
Shifts the moonlight-coloured sunshine on the sea.

Toward the sunset's goal the sunless waters crowd,
Fast as autumn days toward winter: yet it seems
Here that autumn wanes not, here that woods and streams
Lose not heart and change not likeness, chilled and bowed,
Warped and wrinkled: here the days are fair as dreams.

IV
O russet-robed November,
What ails thee so to smile?
Chill August, pale September,
Endured a woful while,
And fell as falls an ember
From forth a flameless pile:
But golden-girt November
Bids all she looks on smile.

The lustrous foliage, waning
As wanes the morning moon,
Here falling, here refraining,
Outbraves the pride of June
With statelier semblance, feigning
No fear lest death be soon:
As though the woods thus waning
Should wax to meet the moon.

As though, when fields lie stricken
By grey December's breath,
These lordlier growths that sicken
And die for fear of death
Should feel the sense requicken
That hears what springtide saith
And thrills for love, spring-stricken
And pierced with April's breath.

The keen white-winged north-easter
That stings and spurs thy sea
Doth yet but feed and feast her
With glowing sense of glee:
Calm chained her, storm released her,
And storm's glad voice was he:
South-wester or north-easter,
Thy winds rejoice the sea.

V
A dream, a dream is it all -- the season,
The sky, the water, the wind, the shore?
A day-born dream of divine unreason,
A marvel moulded of sleep -- no more?
For the cloudlike wave that my limbs while cleaving
Feel as in slumber beneath them heaving
Soothes the sense as to slumber, leaving
Sense of nought that was known of yore.

A purer passion, a lordlier leisure,
A peace more happy than lives on land,
Fulfils with pulse of diviner pleasure
The dreaming head and the steering hand.
I lean my cheek to the cold grey pillow,
The deep soft swell of the full broad billow,
And close mine eyes for delight past measure,
And wish the wheel of the world would stand.

The wild-winged hour that we fain would capture
Falls as from heaven that its light feet clomb,
So brief, so soft, and so full the rapture
Was felt that soothed me with sense of home.
To sleep, to swim, and to dream, for ever --
Such joy the vision of man saw never;
For here too soon will a dark day sever
The sea-bird's wing from the sea-wave's foam.

A dream, and more than a dream, and dimmer
At once and brighter than dreams that flee,
The moment's joy of the seaward swimmer
Abides, remembered as truth may be.
Not all the joy and not all the glory
Must fade as leaves when the woods wax hoary;
For there the downs and the sea-banks glimmer,
And here to south of them swells the sea.


Algernon Charles Swinburne

Semper eadem



Semper eadem


«D'où vous vient, disiez-vous, cette tristesse étrange,
Montant comme la mer sur le roc noir et nu?»
— Quand notre coeur a fait une fois sa vendange
Vivre est un mal. C'est un secret de tous connu,


Une douleur très simple et non mystérieuse
Et, comme votre joie, éclatante pour tous.
Cessez donc de chercher, ô belle curieuse!
Et, bien que votre voix soit douce, taisez-vous!


Taisez-vous, ignorante! âme toujours ravie!
Bouche au rire enfantin! Plus encor que la Vie,
La Mort nous tient souvent par des liens subtils.


Laissez, laissez mon coeur s'enivrer d'un mensonge,
Plonger dans vos beaux yeux comme dans un beau songe
Et sommeiller longtemps à l'ombre de vos cils!


— Charles Baudelaire


Ever the Same


"Whence comes to you, you asked, this singular sadness
That rises like the sea on the naked, black rock?"
— Once our heart has gathered the grapes from its vineyard,
Living is an evil. That's a secret known to all,


A simple pain, with no mystery,
As obvious to all men as your gaiety.
So abandon your search, inquisitive beauty;
And though your voice is sweet, be still!


Be silent, ignorant! ever enraptured soul!
Mouth with the child-like laugh! Still more than Life,
Death holds us frequently with subtle bonds.


Let, let my heart become drunk with a lie; let it
Plunge into your fair eyes as into a fair dream
And slumber long in the shadow of your lashes.


— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)



Semper Eadem

"Whence," ask you, "does this strange new sadness flow
Like rising tides on rocks, black, bare, and vast?"
For human hearts, when vintage-time is past,
To live is bad. That secret all men know —


An obvious sorrow, with no mystery, shown,
Clear as your joy, to everyone around.
O curious one, seek nothing more profound,
And speak not, though your voice be sweet in tone.


Hush, ignorant! Hush, soul that's still enraptured,
And mouth of childish laughter! Neatly captured,
Death pulls us, more than life, with subtle wile.


Oh let my thought get drunk upon a lie,
And plunge, as in a dream, in either eye,
And in their lashes' shadow sleep awhile!


— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)



Semper Eadem


"What in the world," you said, "has brought on this black mood,
Climbing you as the sea climbs up a naked reef?"
— When once the heart has made its harvest (understood
By all men, this) why, just to be alive is grief:


A pain quite simple, nothing mysterious at all,
And like that joy of yours, patent to all we meet;
Stop asking questions, then, I beg of you, and fall
Silent a while, fair prober, though your voice be sweet.


Ah, yes, be silent, ignorant girl, always so gay,
Mouth with the childlike laughter! More than Life, I say,
Death has the power to hold us by most subtle ties.


My one fictitious comfort, kindly, let me keep:
To plunge as into dreams into your lovely eyes,
And in the shadow of your lashes fall asleep.


— Edna St. Vincent Millay, Flowers of Evil (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1936)



Semper eadam


you asked: "what floods of gloom engulf you — strange
as creeping tides against a bare black wall?"
— when hearts once crush their grapes and close the grange,
life is an evil. secret known to all,


'tis but the common grief each man betrays
to all, as you your joy, in eyes or brow
so veil, my fair one, your inquiring gaze
and though your voice is low, be silent now!


be silent, simple soul! mouth always gay
with girlish laughter! more than Life, today,
Death binds our hearts with tenuous webs of doom;


let mine be drunken with the wine of lies,
o let me delve for dreams in those deep eyes
and slumber long beneath your eyebrows' gloom!


— Lewis Piaget Shanks, Flowers of Evil (New York: Ives Washburn, 1931)

Le Beau Navire



Le Beau Navire


Je veux te raconter, ô molle enchanteresse!
Les diverses beautés qui parent ta jeunesse;
Je veux te peindre ta beauté,
Où l'enfance s'allie à la maturité.


Quand tu vas balayant l'air de ta jupe large,
Tu fais l'effet d'un beau vaisseau qui prend le large,
Chargé de toile, et va roulant
Suivant un rythme doux, et paresseux, et lent.


Sur ton cou large et rond, sur tes épaules grasses,
Ta tête se pavane avec d'étranges grâces;
D'un air placide et triomphant
Tu passes ton chemin, majestueuse enfant.


Je veux te raconter, ô molle enchanteresse!
Les diverses beautés qui parent ta jeunesse;
Je veux te peindre ta beauté,
Où l'enfance s'allie à la maturité.


Ta gorge qui s'avance et qui pousse la moire,
Ta gorge triomphante est une belle armoire
Dont les panneaux bombés et clairs
Comme les boucliers accrochent des éclairs;


Boucliers provoquants, armés de pointes roses!
Armoire à doux secrets, pleine de bonnes choses,
De vins, de parfums, de liqueurs
Qui feraient délirer les cerveaux et les coeurs!


Quand tu vas balayant l'air de ta jupe large
Tu fais l'effet d'un beau vaisseau qui prend le large,
Chargé de toile, et va roulant
Suivant un rythme doux, et paresseux, et lent.


Tes nobles jambes, sous les volants qu'elles chassent,
Tourmentent les désirs obscurs et les agacent,
Comme deux sorcières qui font
Tourner un philtre noir dans un vase profond.


Tes bras, qui se joueraient des précoces hercules,
Sont des boas luisants les solides émules,
Faits pour serrer obstinément,
Comme pour l'imprimer dans ton coeur, ton amant.


Sur ton cou large et rond, sur tes épaules grasses,
Ta tête se pavane avec d'étranges grâces;
D'un air placide et triomphant
Tu passes ton chemin, majestueuse enfant.


— Charles Baudelaire


The Beautiful Ship


I want to name for you, indolent sorceress!
The divers marks of beauty which adorn your youth;
I want to describe your beauty,
In which are blended childhood and maturity.


When you go sweeping by in your full, flowing skirts,
You resemble a trim ship as it puts to sea
Under full sail and goes rolling
Lazily, to a slow and easy rhythm.


On your large, round neck, on your plump shoulders,
Your head moves proudly and with a strange grace;
With a placid, triumphant air
You go your way, majestic child.


I want to name for you, indolent sorceress!
The divers marks of beauty which adorn your youth;
I want to describe your beauty,
In which are blended childhood and maturity.


Your exuberant breast which swells your silken gown,
Your triumphant breast is a lovely cabinet
Whose panels, round and bright,
Catch each flash of light like bucklers,


Exciting bucklers, armed with rosy points!
Cabinet of sweet secrets, crowded with good things,
With wines, with perfumes, with liqueurs
That would make delirious the minds and hearts of men!


When you go sweeping by in your full, flowing skirts,
You resemble a trim ship as it puts to sea
Under full sail and goes rolling
Lazily, to a slow and easy rhythm.


Your shapely legs beneath the flounces they pursue
Arouse and torment obscure desires
Like two sorceresses who stir
A black philtre in a deep vessel.


Your arms which would scorn precocious Hercules
Are the worthy rivals of glistening boas,
Made to clasp stubbornly Y
our lover, as if to imprint him on your heart.


On your large, round neck, on your plump shoulders,
Your head moves proudly and with a strange grace;
With a placid, triumphant air
You go your way, majestic child.


— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)



The Splendid Ship

Oh soft enchantress, I'll record with truth
The diverse beauties that adorn your youth.
Yes, I will paint your charm
Of womanhood with childhood arm in arm.


When you go sweeping your wide skirts, to me
You seem a splendid ship that out to sea
Spreads its full sails, and with them
Goes rolling in a soft, slow, lazy rhythm.


Over your tall, round neck and those plump shoulders,
Your head swans forth its pride to all beholders,
With grace triumphant, mild,
And strange, you go your way, majestic child.


Oh soft enchantress, I'll record with truth
The diverse beauties that adorn your youth.
Yes, I will paint your charm
Of womanhood with childhood arm in arm.


Your bosom juts and stretches every stitch,
Triumphant bosom, like a coffer rich
With bosses round and rare,
Like shields that draw the lightning from the air.


Provoking shields, with rosy points uplifted!
Coffer of secret charms, superbly gifted,
Whose scents, liqueurs, and wine
Turn heart and brain deliriously thine.


When you go sweeping your wide skirts, to me
You seem a splendid ship that out to sea
Spreads its full sails, and with them
Goes rolling in a soft, slow, lazy rhythm.


Your noble thighs, beneath the silks they swirl,
Torment obscure desires and tease me, girl;
Like sorcerers they are
That stir black philtres in a deep, cool jar.


Your arms precocious Hercules would grace
And vie with pythons in their bright embrace:
The pressure they impart
Would print your lovers' image on your heart.


Over your tall, round neck and those plump shoulders
Your head swans forth its pride to all beholders,
With grace triumphant, mild,
And strange, you go your way, majestic child.


— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)



The Beautiful Ship


I Want to tell you, indolent enchantress,
Of the various beauties that adorn your youth;
I want to paint for you your beauty
Of childish maturity.


When you go sweeping the air with your flaring skirts,
You look like a lovely slip taking to flight
Heavy with canvas, pitching,
Rolling in a soft rhythm, both lazy and slow.


On your wide, round neck, on your plump shoulders,
Your head parades its strange graces;
Placidly, triumphantly,
O child of majesty, you go your way.


I want to tell you, indolent enchantress,
Of the various beauties that adorn your youth;
I want to paint for you your beauty
Where childhood touches maturity.


Your breasts thrust forward, heaving their silk,
Your triumphing breasts are charming cases
Whose outlined, rounded panels
Hold flashes of light like twin shields;


Provocative shields, armed with pink tips,
Cases of sweet secrets, full of sweet things,
Of wines and perfumes and liqueurs
Making the brain, the heart delirious!


When you go sweeping the air with your flaring skirts,
You look like a lovely ship taking to flight,
Heavy with canvas, you go pitching,
Rolling in a soft rhythm, both lazy and slow.


Your full legs, under flounces they chase forward,
Torture and excite dark desires,
Like two witches who
Twist some black potion in a deep bowl.


Your arms, which would make light of precocious Hercules,
Rival well two glistening snakes,
Made to bind hopelessly
As if to imprison your lover in your heart.


On your wide, round neck, on your plump shoulders,
Your head parades its strange graces
Placid, triumphantly,
O child of majesty, you go your way.


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