Sunday, July 1, 2012

Conservation of Beauty by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Bob Atkinson

 Conservation of Beauty
in the hand of one blind
the dream stone feels the pain
not seeing our world's attractiveness
such lovely form in one quick take

yet, those who can see clearly
see clearly not the world as is
their inner feelings recreate actuality
sift life through inward leanings

generating such large distortions
as to not observe what begins with truth
love and soft emotions warped
by whims, false attitude

the poet sees the sky as blue
constructs of man evolve
as pyramids and stone animals
forest plants for fires cropped

with words of pure thought
as white as snow and swans
poets describe worlds they perceive
no wet eyes, or mirth planned prior

when they tell their view of life
the tears begin to fall, abundant
purity of vision, dream stone's mission
demands that sober order be given

center stage upon our thoughts
wide eyes of clear sight directed
wanting, pleading for senses to
adopt love for life's consequences

poets eye life with pure emotions
describe those monuments of lust
to nature and mankind's follies
deities varied, all so abundant

for our efforts to succeed
poetry must mirror life itself
life has beauty on its own
sustentation, the poet's quest
La Beaute

Je suis belle, ô mortels! comme un rêve de pierre,
Et mon sein, où chacun s'est meurtri tour à tour,
Est fait pour inspirer au poète un amour
Eternel et muet ainsi que la matière.

Je trône dans l'azur comme un sphinx incompris;
J'unis un cœur de neige à la blancheur des cygnes;
Je hais le mouvement qui déplace les lignes,
Et jamais je ne pleure et jamais je ne ris.

Les poètes, devant mes grandes attitudes.
Que j'ai l'air d'emprunter aux plus fiers monuments,
Consumeront leurs jours en d'austères études;

Car j'ai, pour fasciner ces dociles amants,
De purs miroirs qui font toutes choses plus belles:
Mes yeux, mes larges yeux aux clartés éternelles!

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