Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Back when I was studying French I used to enjoy puzzling through the poems of Baudelaire. Some poems are transparent and enjoyable for that reason; some require work to feel at least somewhat connected to what the meaning is. Baudelaire was in the latter category.
I had a momentary lapse and forgot the French word for "clock". Whilst looking it up (poetic word intended), I found a link to one of Baudelaire's poems, L'Horloge, from Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil). Here is an excerpt with translation:
Horloge! dieu sinistre, effrayant, impassible,
Dont le doigt nous menace et nous dit: «Souviens-toi!
Les vibrantes Douleurs dans ton coeur plein d'effroi
Se planteront bientôt comme dans une cible;
Impassive clock! Terrifying, sinister god,
Whose finger threatens us and says: "Remember!
The quivering Sorrows will soon be shot
Into your fearful heart, as into a target;
Quote and translation from http://fleursdumal.org/poem/218
Makes one feel one's mortality, doesn't it?