Intro 4: Liquid Poetry

As Baudelaire, my
father, my twin, my dearest
poet knew this drink

was fine; so shall I
proclaim: My sweetest love, as
my servant, as my

devoted, as my
slave; bringest thou me of the
sweetest Xerex grape

and I shall become
returnèd to that which thou
most admirest.

6 responses to “Intro 4: Liquid Poetry

  1. I didn’t know Baudelaire was a wine connoisseur. Of the few poetic works I know of, Les Fleurs du mal is my favourite by far. I wish I could read it in the original language.


    • Baudelaire was a connoisseur of all sin : ) I originally studied the French language so I could read Les Fleurs du Mal in its native tongue. In French it reads more sentimentally and simply. L’Invitation au Voyage, for example, my favourite of the series is very much that way: simple, sweet, sentimental. For that one, my favourite translation is the Richard Wilbur version (he is still alive, last I checked, still teaching–must be almost 100 years old!


    • That’s an interesting way of putting it. It does seem like he savoured the taste of despair to quite some extent. Studying French, just to read the works of great poets, is something I lack devotion for. That said, I deeply regret the decision of taking Latin over French during my time in school. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have a base in the language I could simply keep building upon. I favour his way of symbolism, metaphor and presence throughout his many pieces, rather than certain ones. Sweet and simple are not attributes I’d use for his work, altough that might be the translation. I went for a specific German transcription that was recommended after doing research online on what best to get. It’s probably the most complex German I’ve read yet. Maybe I’ll look for excerpts from the Wilbur version for comparison’s sake.


    • It is a worthy pursuit. I have delved into various translations of these and read the originals (they are indeed sweet and simple, and even simply sentimental) I have read even some freeverse translations and some academic transliterations even. From one extreme to the other. Most of them are quite charming in their own ways. Some, a few, are a bit silly….. “My sister my treasure/imagine the pleasure….” to give an example of a silly one.


    • Your “Sonnet VII: Despair” seems to have disappeared, so I’ll just give you my late reply here:

      Alright, I wrapped my brain around this again and think I’ve arrived at a sensible conclusion thanks to your mention of sound roll-overs. My problem was not seeing a way for feet like dactyls and anapests to work within the framework of traditional sonnets, since you’d basically get pyrrhics and spondees with the ten syllables rule intact. With those roll-overs, you can have actual three-count feet while still staying within variation limits. Nice.

      Like enjambment, I really like the disruption of reading flow that this introduces. Hopefully I’ll be good enough to use this technique at some point. Better practice basic iambic pentameter with inversions here and there first. Sonnet writing sure is a challenge. But it’s like you say – the greater the challenge, the greater the reward.

      As for Baudelaire, I’m sure studying a language, for whatever reason, is always a worthy pursuit. If it wasn’t for a complete lack of time, I’d just pick up French for the love of it. The German translation I have of Les Fleurs du mal is sufficient for me, though. I think the basic nature of his poetry comes across very well, which is exactly what makes him so endearing to me. The presented level of complexity of his huge amount of reinvented sonnets is interesting, still. Be it his true style of forming poems or not, it’s very inspiring in its own right.

      Many thanks for the help!


    • I am pleased I could shed some light.

      As for the missing sonnet, I have requeued the entire sequence after having recently added a few new sonnets to it. I (usually) will include permalinks which will transcend this moving about (though sometimes I do forget) but… unless you are a member of this blog (as is Mrs. Emeron) such a link will not work with a piece which is queued but not yet posted. Look for it to repost soon.


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