Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Ornate Time Piece

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;

The Clock

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?


Jud said...

Great image and poem. My favorite French poem is Prevert's "Paris at Night".

phonelady said...

What a beautiful piece and I for one think it is just beautiful . thanks for posting that .