Special Rhyme List:
Vin de chiffonniers (original French)
S. H. Bass also contributes
original poetry to vintagewinepoems.com.
the 19th Century, the term "rag-picker" referred to the
same socio-economic group we refer to today as "the homeless".
Like our modern day “rag pickers”, they drew the scorn and
fear of the general public, while at the same time standing as a
symbol for poverty, a rallying point for social change. They were often
a subject or a “character” in 19th Century
7: Pactolus: legendary river famous for the gold washed from its
- 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
more Charles Baudelaire
Les fluers du mal (The Flowers
Hymn To Beauty * A/V
The Soul Of Wine
The Wine Of Lovers * A/V
Wine of the Murderer *
The Wine Of The Solitary*
Be Drunk* A/V
Thyrsus: To Franz Liszt
* multiple Englsh translations
CHARLES BAUDELAIRE at AMAZONLes Fluers du Mal (The Flowers of Evil) by Charles Baudelaire
Richard Howard (trans.) French and English. Award-winning translation
Wine of the Rag-Pickers
verse by S.H. Bass (b. 1956), American
in the red light of a street lamp's blaze
the wind whips its flame, rattling its cage,
the heart of this labyrinth of mud and cement
humanity crawls amidst the scum and ferment,
sees a rag-picker amble by, reeling –
stumbling poet, hitting walls without feeling.
begins his diatribe, no longer wary of cops,
out his heart to empty alleys and shops.
takes solemn oaths, dictates laws sublime
the victim, list the wicked their crimes
taking the dark firmament as his preacher's tent
gets only drunker with the splendor he vents.
these folk who are harassed by domestic rage
down by a life which distorts their age
and buckling – the load that they cart is
spittle and vomit of enormous Paris.
of wine, they come home in the night
by veteran comrades, whose whiskers of white
like flags they followed in long-ago marches
banners and flowers and triumphal arches.
up in salute – it is magic you see:
clarions and drums, and shouts from
bring glory to a nation drunk with love!
wine, through human life does unfold,
Pactolus, a fountain of dazzling gold;
men's own throats, his exploits will sing
And reign by such gifts like a
smooth their bitterness and ensure
provide these who die silenced, a momentary harbor
in remorse, made sleep – Man added wine,
of the sun, immortal and divine.
Bottled 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.
of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing
NUMBER LC-D416-22976 DLC (b&w glass transparency)