Les Fleurs du MalLes Fleurs du Mal (literal trans. "The Flowers of Evil") is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire, important in the symbolist and modernist movements. The subject matter of these poems deals with themes relating to decadence and eroticism.
The initial publication of the book was arranged in five thematically segregated sections:
- Spleen et Idéal
- Le Vin
- Fleurs du Mal
- La Mort
Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l'incendie,
N'ont pas encore brode de leurs plaisants dessins
Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins,
C'est que notre ame, helas! N'es pas assez hardie.
- If rape and poison, dagger and burning,
- Have still not embroidered their pleasant designs
- On the banal canvas of our pitiable destinies,
- It's because our souls, alas, are not bold enough!
C'est l'Ennui!—l'oeil chargé d'un pleur involontaire,
Il rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
—Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère!
- It's Boredom!- his eye brimming with spontaneous tear
- He dreams of the gallows in the haze of his hookah.
- You know him, reader, this delicate monster,
- Hypocritical reader, my likeness, my brother!
In the wake of the prosecution a second edition was issued in 1861 which added 32 new poems, removed the 6 suppressed poems and added a new section entitled Tableaux Parisiens.
Les Fleurs du Mal is also the title of a painting by the artist Georges Roualt.