The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire was first published in 1857. Baudelaire’s work was not greeted with applause and cheer, in fact, the series of poems were seen as an “outrage” by the aristocracy in Paris, whom he openly defiles with the neglect for the poor in the modernization of the urban center. He also takes aim at the “sacred one” for false promises that are not delivered to the poor, but praises our engagement with nature (not necessarily begot from the divine in his context), especially the sea, which he argues offers us reflection, somber and fight. He also provides short poems on the clouds, evening sunset, and seasons of the year. The short series of poems also offer insight to his thoughts on exotic perfume and beauty. His style of rhyming couplets, almost throughout, is a work of art (though remember I am reading the translated version, so probably better in French). Poets are truly amazing in capturing a thought, an idea, or a moment perfectly, and Baudelaire is no different. His reflection on how music moves his spirit in the same manner as nature is how musicians I know explain what happens to them when they are working on a project:
Oft Music possesses me like the seas!
To my planet pale,
'Neath a ceiling of mist, in the lofty breeze,
I set my sail.
With inflated lungs and expanded chest,
Like to a sail,
On the backs of the heaped-up billows I rest
Which the shadows veil
I feel all the anguish within me arise
Of a ship in distress;
The tempest, the rain, 'neath the lowering skies,
For me, it captures the places the artists goes when they are consumed by a project (song/piece of art, etc.) that inspires them. Reminds me of my sister’s work creating a new design for her tiles. The overall poems are quite short and challenges the reader on a society influx with a new modern view on fellow society and nature.