Her Hair Poem by Charles Baudelaire

Her Hair

Rating: 2.9

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 dream upon your sea of amber
Of dazzling sails, of oarsmen, masts, and flames:

A sun-drenched and reverberating port,
Where I imbibe colour and sound and scent;
Where vessels, gliding through the gold and moiré,
Open their vast arms as they leave the shore
To clasp the pure and shimmering firmament.

I'll plunge my head, enamored of its pleasure,
In this black ocean where the other hides;
My subtle spirit then will know a measure
Of fertile idleness and fragrant leisure,
Lulled by the infinite rhythm of its tides!

Pavilion, of autumn-shadowed tresses spun,
You give me back the azure from afar;
And where the twisted locks are fringed with down
Lurk mingled odors I grow drunk upon
Of oil of coconut, of musk, and tar.

A long time! always! my hand in your hair
Will sow the stars of sapphire, pearl, ruby,
That you be never deaf to my desire,
My oasis and my gourd whence I aspire
To drink deep of the wine of memory.

Susan Williams 01 July 2016

My goodness, the man certainly gets excited by her hair- -I do believe he would give up everything he had to run his fingers through her hair. He finds different words for hair- -but fleece? Really? If you're into patting sheep that image might rouse your interest... all he roused from me was my eyebrow. Those last lines though are so opulent... in fact, I found them rather Cleopatra-ish!

8 3 Reply
Rebecca Lang 09 May 2005

A very Hot poem indeed!

3 4 Reply
Townie Page 01 September 2017

You mean hot, like fleece is hot?

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M Asim Nehal 01 July 2016

The love for hairs are eminent from this poem, it describes the minutest details of some beautiful hairs on lovers head trying to intimidate, Nice poem.

4 2 Reply
Chinedu Dike 28 January 2022

Really an interesting piece written in heightened poetic diction with conviction......

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In Spanish are several translations of the complete works of Charles Beaudelaire

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Bicth 07 May 2020


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Tatum 06 February 2018

how is intoxication represented in this poem?

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some guy 26 March 2021

Lemme guess, MRU GNED 1201 Aesthetic Experience and Ideas?

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Townie Page 01 September 2017

Is the alcove shape the nape of the neck, or his brain that is so overwhelmed?

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