Charles Baudelaire

(9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867 / Paris)

Charles Baudelaire Quotes

  • ''What is exhilarating in bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure of giving offense.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. Squibs, Intimate Journals, sct. 18 (1887), trans. by Christopher Isherwood (1930), rev. Don Bachardy (1989).
    68 person liked.
    26 person did not like.
  • ''Hugo, like a priest, always has his head bowed—bowed so low that he can see nothing except his own navel.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. "Squibs," sect. 22, Intimate Journals (1887), trans. by Christopher Isherwood (1930), revised by Don Bachardy (1989). Of Victor Hugo.
    24 person liked.
    12 person did not like.
  • ''It is the hour to be drunken! To escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk. On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. Complete Works, vol. 1, "Shorter Prose Poems," ed. Yves-Gérard le Dantec; rev. Claude Pichois (1953). Enivrez-vous, Figaro (Paris, Feb. 7, 1864).
    52 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • ''We all have the republican spirit in our veins, like syphilis in our bones. We are democratized and venerealized.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. Sur la Belgique, epilogue, Complete Works, vol. 2, ed. Yves-Gérard le Dantec, rev. by Claude Pichois (1976). A never-completed book on Belgium.
    24 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • ''Whether you come from heaven or hell, what does it matter, O Beauty!''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French. Flowers of Evil, "Hymn to Beauty," (1860).
    35 person liked.
    16 person did not like.
  • ''There is no more steely barb than that of the Infinite.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. Complete Works, vol. 1, "Shorter Prose Poems," ed. Gérard le Dantec; rev. Claude Pichois (1953). The Artist "Confiteor," La Presse (Paris, Aug. 26, 1862).
    8 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • ''Alas! everything is an abyss,—action, dream, desire, speech!''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Flowers of Evil, "The Abyss," (1862).
    10 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • ''I have to confess that I had gambled on my soul and lost it with heroic insouciance and lightness of touch. The soul is so impalpable, so often useless, and sometimes such a nuisance, that I felt no more emotion on losing it than if, on a stroll, I had mislaid my visiting card.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In Complete Works, vol. 4, "Shorter Prose Poems," ed. Yves-Gérard le Dantec; rev. Claude Pichois (1953). "The Generous Gambler," in Figaro (Paris, Feb. 7, 1864).
    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • ''We want ... to plunge into the depths of the abyss, Hell or Heaven, what does it matter? into the depths of the Unknown to find something new!''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Flowers of Evil, "The Voyage," (1859).
    12 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • ''Who would dare assign to art the sterile function of imitating nature?''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. The Painter of Modern Life, XI "In Praise of Cosmetics," (1863).
    10 person liked.
    2 person did not like.

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Best Poem of Charles Baudelaire

Her Hair

O fleece, that down the neck waves to the nape!
O curls! O perfume nonchalant and rare!
O ecstasy! To fill this alcove shape
With memories that in these tresses sleep,
I would shake them like penions in the air!

Languorous Asia, burning Africa,
And a far world, defunct almost, absent,
Within your aromatic forest stay!
As other souls on music drift away,
Mine, O my love! still floats upon your scent.

I shall go there where, full of sap, both tree
And man swoon in the heat of the southern climates;
Strong tresses be the swell that carries me!
I ...

Read the full of Her Hair

The Albatross

Often to pass the time on board, the crew
will catch an albatross, one of those big birds
which nonchalently chaperone a ship
across the bitter fathoms of the sea.

Tied to the deck, this sovereign of space,
as if embarrassed by its clumsiness,
pitiably lets its great white wings
drag at its sides like a pair of unshipped oars.

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