Charles Baudelaire

(9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867 / Paris)

Elevation Poem by Charles Baudelaire


Above the ponds, beyond the valleys,
The woods, the mountains, the clouds, the seas,
Farther than the sun, the distant breeze,
The spheres that wilt to infinity

My spirit, you move with agility
And, like a good swimmer who swoons in the wave
You groove the depths immensity gave,
The inexpressible and male ecstasy.

>From this miasma of waste,
You will be purified in superior air
And drink a pure and divine liqueur,
A clear fire to replace the limpid space

Behind this boredom and fatigue, this vast chagrin
Whose weight moves the mists of existence,
Happy is he who vigorously fans the senses
Toward serene and luminous fields—wincing!

The one whose thoughts are like skylarks taken wing
Across the heavens mornings in full flight
—Who hovers over life, understanding without effort
The language of flowers and mute things.


Translated by William A. Sigler


Submitted by Ryan McGuire

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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