To Charles Baudelaire, Translation of Paul Verlaine’s A Charles Baudelaire


 
      To Charles Baudelaire
 
(Paul Verlaine’s sonnet : « A Charles Baudelaire », translated by T. Wignesan.
I thought I’ll first present to readers – they should see why – an unrimed version, and maybe later the strict sonnet form.)
 
I didn’t know you, I didn’t love you,
I know you not : period, and I love you even less :
I can hardly defend your diffamed name,
And if I have some right to count myself among your witnesses,
 
Then it’s, first of all, and besides all, towards the Feet tied.
Initially by the cold nails, then the surges of feeling
The women of sin – whose Oh ! how anointed,
So many kisses, intoxicating chrism and kisses full of hunger !-
 
You fell, you prayed, like me, like all the rest
The souls that hunger and thirst during the passage
Pushed so many well-wishing hopes to reach Calvary !  
 
Calvary rightful and true, Calvary where, then, these doubts
This, that,  grimaces, art, tearful at their rout.
What ? To die unprotesting, we, men of sin.  
 
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2013

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