Charles Baudelaire

(9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867 / Paris)

Charles Baudelaire Quotes

  • ''We are all born marked for evil.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. New Notes on E. Poe, part II (1859).
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  • ''The insatiable thirst for everything which lies beyond, and which life reveals, is the most living proof of our immortality.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. New Notes on E. Poe, part IV (1859).
  • ''By nature, by necessity itself, [primitive man] is encyclopedic, while civilized man finds himself confined in the infinitely small regions of specialization.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. New Notes on E. Poe, part II (1859).
  • ''An artist is an artist only because of his exquisite sense of beauty, a sense which shows him intoxicating pleasures, but which at the same time implies and contains an equally exquisite sense of all deformities and all disproportions.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. New Notes on E. Poe, part IV (1859).
  • ''Poetry has no goal other than itself; it can have no other, and no poem will be so great, so noble, so truly worthy of the name of poem, than one written uniquely for the pleasure of writing a poem.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. "New Notes on Edgar Poe," part IV (1859).
  • ''The cannon thunders ... limbs fly in all directions ... one can hear the groans of victims and the howling of those performing the sacrifice ... it's Humanity in search of happiness.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. "Plans and Notes: For Civil War," appendix to Prose Poems, published in Complete Works, vol. 1, "Shorter Prose Poems," ed. Yves-Gérard le Dantec, rev. by Claude Pichois (1953).
  • ''The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1846," sct. 18, published in Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).
  • ''There are as many kinds of beauty as there are habitual ways of seeking happiness.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1846," sct. 2, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868). Baudelaire may have been recalling a footnote in ch. 110 of Stendhal's Histoire de la Peinture en Italie: "La beauté est l'expression d'une certaine manière habituelle de chercher le bonheur."
  • ''To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art—that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1846," sct. 2, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868). "Romanticism," Baudelaire judged, "is the most recent, the most contemporary expression of beauty."
  • ''To be just, that is to say, to justify its existence, criticism should be partial, passionate and political, that is to say, written from an exclusive point of view, but a point of view that opens up the widest horizons.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1846," sct. 1, published in Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).

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Best Poem of Charles Baudelaire

Be Drunk

You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it--it's the
only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks
your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually
drunk.
But on what?Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be
drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of
a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again,
drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave,
the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything
that is groaning, everything ...

Read the full of Be Drunk

Lethe

Come to my heart, cruel, insensible one,
Adored tiger, monster with the indolent air;
I would for a long time plunge my trembling fingers
Into the heavy tresses of your hair;

And in your garments that exhale your perfume
I would bury my aching head,
And breathe, like a withered flower,
The sweet, stale reek of my love that is dead.

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