Poet under the influence of hashish
Self portrait drawn w. pen by Charles Baudelaire
reproduced in Les fleurs du mal, Kultura, Beograd, 1970
[this copy I have is especially dear to me since it was a gift from my mum to my dad when they started to date back in 1974]
You are sitting and smoking; you believe that you are sitting in your pipe, and that your pipe is smoking you; you are exhaling yourself in bluish clouds. You feel just fine in this position, and only one thing gives you worry or concern: how will you ever be able to get out of your pipe?
Charles Baudelaire, 1860
thanks to frenchtwist:]
Anywhere out of the world by Charles Baudelaire
This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds; one man would like to
suffer in front of the stove, and another believes that he would recover his health beside the window.
It always seems to me that I should feel well in the place where I am not, and this question of removal is one
which I discuss incessantly with my soul.
'Tell me, my soul, poor chilled soul, what do you think of going to live in Lisbon? It must be warm there, and there
you would invigorate yourself like a lizard. This city is on the sea-shore; they say that it is built of marble
and that the people there have such a hatred of vegetation that they uproot all the trees. There you have a landscape
that corresponds to your taste! a landscape made of light and mineral, and liquid to reflect them!’
My soul does not reply.
'Since you are so fond of stillness, coupled with the show of movement, would you like to settle in Holland,
that beatifying country? Perhaps you would find some diversion in that land whose image you have so often admired
in the art galleries. What do you think of Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts, and ships moored at the foot of
My soul remains silent.
'Perhaps Batavia attracts you more? There we should find, amongst other things, the spirit of Europe
married to tropical beauty.’
Not a word. Could my soul be dead?
'Is it then that you have reached such a degree of lethargy that you acquiesce in your sickness? If so, let us
flee to lands that are analogues of death. I see how it is, poor soul! We shall pack our trunks for Tornio. Let us go
farther still to the extreme end of the Baltic; or farther still from life, if that is possible; let us settle at the Pole. There
the sun only grazes the earth obliquely, and the slow alternation of light and darkness suppresses variety and
increases monotony, that half-nothingness. There we shall be able to take long baths of darkness, while for our
amusement the aurora borealis shall send us its rose-coloured rays that are like the reflection of Hell’s own
At last my soul explodes, and wisely cries out to me: ‘No matter where! No matter where! As long as it’s out
of the world!’
etching/aquatint from Edouard Chimot's edition of Le Spleen de Paris,1926
[more illustrations for Baudelaire]
THE MOON, who is caprice itself, looked through the window while you were sleeping in your cradle, and said to herself: ‘I like this child.’
However, in the expansion of her joy, the Moon filled the whole room with phosphorescent vapour, like a luminous poison; and all the living light thought and said: ‘You shall suffer for ever the influence of my kiss. You shall be beautiful in my fashion. You shall love that which I love and that which loves me: water, clouds, silence and the night; the immense green sea; the formless and multiform streams; the place where you shall not be; the lover whom you shall not know; flowers of monstrous shape; perfumes that cause delirium; cats that shudder, swoon and curl up on pianos and groan like women, with a voice that is hoarse and gentle!
And that, my dear, cursed, spoiled child, is why I am now lying at your feet, seeking in all your person the reflection of the formidable divinity, of the foreknowing godmother, the poisoning wet-nurse of all the lunatics.
Charles Baudelaire, 1869
“Baudelaire’s Dream”, 68 x 108 cm, charcoal
New work by Paul Rumsey at the Galerie Béatrice Soulié.
The title “Baudelaire’s Dream” may refer to Baudelaire’s dream, a dream Baudelaire recorded and sent to a friend, the object of essays by Michel Butor.
And your heart, bruised like a peach,
Is as ripe as your body for sophisticated love.
great find! and with frontispiece by Felicien Rops;]
[Les Epaves version here]
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, without title-page, dark morocco gilt by Charles Meunier