Charles Baudelaire

(9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867 / Paris)

Charles Baudelaire Quotes

  • ''It is time to get drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk without stopping! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Little Poems in Prose (Paris Spleen), "Get Drunk," (1864).
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  • ''But what does an eternity of damnation matter to one who has found for one second the infinity of pleasure?''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Little Poems in Prose (Paris Spleen), "The Bad Glazier," (1862).
  • ''All fashions are charming, or rather relatively charming, each one being a new striving, more or less well conceived, after beauty, an approximate statement of an ideal, the desire for which constantly teases the unsatisfied human mind.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In Selected Writings on Art and Artists, ed. P.E. Charvet (1972). "The Painter of Modern Life," sct. 11, L'Art Romantique (1869).
  • ''The poet enjoys the incomparable privilege of being able to be himself and others, as he wishes.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Little Poems in Prose (Paris Spleen), "Crowds," (1861).
  • ''Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. Selected Writings on Art and Artists, ed. P.E. Charvet (1972). The Painter of Modern Life, sct. 4, first published in L'Art Romantique (1869).
  • ''They were making their way with the resigned expression of those who are condemned to hope forever.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. Little Poems in Prose (Paris Spleen), "To Each His Chimera," (1862).
  • ''Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. Selected Writings, ed. P.E. Charvet (1972). The Painter of Modern Life, sct. 11, published in L'Art Romantique (1869).
  • ''The immense profundity of thought in vulgar locutions, like holes dug by generations of ants.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. My Heart Laid Bare, I (1887).
  • ''It is unfortunately very true that, without leisure and money, love can be no more than an orgy of the common man.... Instead of being a sudden impulse full of ardour and reverie, it becomes a distastefully utilitarian affair.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In Selected Writings on Art and Artists, ed. P.E. Charvet (1972). "The Painter of Modern Life," sect. 9, published in L'Art Romantique (1869).
  • ''Let us beware of common folk, of common sense, of sentiment, of inspiration, and of the obvious.''
    Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet, critic. My Heart Laid Bare, XLI (1887).

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Best Poem of Charles Baudelaire

Get Drunk

Always be drunk.
That's it!
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time's horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
Get drunk and stay that way.
On what?
On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock,
ask everything that flees,
everything that groans
or rolls
or...

Read the full of Get Drunk

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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