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The Poets

April 09, 2012

Joyeux Anniversaire!

By far- and I mean by far!- the most coolest, the most darkest, and most kick ass French poet there is … Charles Baudelaire was born this day in 1821. He’s said to be the leading poet of the French Symbolist period (even though, as far as I know, he never actually hung out with the acknowledged circle of Symbolists: Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Valery, Paul Verlaine, and Stéphane Mallarmé).

There’s a bleak existential anxiety that’s woven throughout every one of his works- but it’s not too overwhelming or depressive (just close to it). He’s dark, make no mistakes about it; and his poems, when they appear lighthearted and upbeat, are really just delightful masks on the face of sarcasm. Baudelaire is a poet that every poet must know.

His poem, The Sky (which if you haven’t read you must), was the first poem of his that I read- I thought to myself, after that read: What a jerk! Then I continued to read everything else he ever wrote! He’s a good poet, really good. He writes good prose, as well.

I've said elsewhere of Baudelaire:

"Bleak and oblique are many of the poems that have emerged from the pen of this French writer, and in many ways Baudelaire reminds me of a hip, coffee-drinking existentialist just waiting for a reason to rebel. Make no mistakes, I respect Baudelaire as a man and as a poet, and think much of his poetry cleverly written and interesting ... I'm just saying, he's different- but perhaps that's where his poetic genius lies."

Joyeux Anniversaire à vous mon cher ami!

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As of April 9th, 2010