Love and Romance
(the dark side)
Special Rhyme List:
ŕ la Beauté (original French) audio
Other English translations:
To Beauty (1909 Scott) A/V
Hymn To Beauty (1919 Robertson)
To Beauty (1928 Martin)
S. H. Bass also contributes
original poetry to vintagewinepoems.com, as well as more translations.
- S.H. Bass
verse by S.H. Bass . . .” is the translator's credit line
that accompany seven (7) poems that are posted here at vintagewinepoems.com.
I struggled to choose poems for this site (and the anthology, Bottled
Poetry: Verses from the Vine),
the public domain translations (if any) that I discovered, I found
lacking in some respect or another. Frustrated, I thought “I
could do a better job myself” – and so I did!
There is an
established tradition for poets using other's and/or verbatim
translations to transmute foreign language poems into English
- S. H. Bass
Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet
verse by S.H. Bass (b. 1956), American
Beauty! Are you Heaven’s blessing or Hell’s dark spill?
your gaze, both demonic and divine,
a confusing blend of health and ill,
one finds in you a likeness with wine:
eyes are dawn and twilight; they beguile.
perfume the soft wind in tempest's wake.
kiss a philtre, from an amphora smile
makes the child bold, and bold men quake.
you birthed from the stars or this dark ground?
seed betrayal and love without aim.
your heel, Fate's your obedient hound.
rule over all and to none grant claim.
the dead, you sashay about.
your jewels, horror takes her place,
is a bauble you proudly flout
your breast, your most alluring space.
to your fire, the wee insects dance,
crackle and burn in their joy-filled doom.
lover’s embrace, in his mistress' trance,
a dead man’s caress of his own tomb.
or Hell? Does it matter at all?
ingenious monster, obscure and alone
with one glance, one smile, one foot-fall –
to that Infinite I love, but have never known.
God or Satan? Angel’s song or Siren’s call?
matters not, my voluptuous Queen, my blithe sprite
rhythms, perfumes, and visions - even as I fall,
the world less hideous and the hours less trite.
Poetry: Verses From The Vine, edited by Stephen H. Bass
(Robinsonville, MS: Spilt Wine Publishing Co. 2013). English
translation copyright ©2013 Stephen H. Bass. All rights
reserved. Posted at vintagewinepoems.com with the permission
Stephen H. Bass.
CHARLES BAUDELAIRE at AMAZON
Les Fluers du Mal (The Flowers of Evil)
by Charles Baudelaire / Richard Howard (trans.)
French and English.