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In Libris Veritas

The Flowers of Evil - Charles Baudelaire, Cyril Scott

It is rare that I ever sit down and devour a whole book of poetry in a matter of day, if I remember correctly the last book I did that with was Edgar Allen Poe years ago. My first time hearing Baudelaire’s name was from the lead singer of my favorite band, he even has a song that refers to Baudelaire’s work and it’s complexity. So when I saw it on my friend’s shelf I had to read it.


These poems are so different from what I’m use to reading, there is a very specific sort of style to it. He takes gritty and dark things and turns them into something poetic, and as a reader it really puts you in a different place. Instead of reading about some beautiful woman of comfortable means you see his affection being given to the more promiscuous of woman, instead of speaking in flowering details about how gorgeous something is he weaves words around things that would repulse most. He does speak of things that are innocent and beautiful but he puts them next to things that could be considered seedy and distasteful. It’s that complex juxtaposition that really drew me in and the reason I kept reading the poems like I ‘needed’ them it’s so different.


I would say that Baudelaire is definitely not for everyone because some of the imagery was a bit ‘wince’ worthy at times, and he’s not someone who is shy about sex. In fact everything in this is written with such passion that he’s almost celebrating everything for the beauty of what it is. He’s certainly a poet that will stick with me and I can see why Eliot would call him one of the greatest modern poets, because he makes an impact.