NOTES: Bonus points for the original French.
Translations sourced from: http://fleursdumal.org
- “My hand in your hair will sow the stars of sapphire, pearl, ruby – that you be never deaf to my desire.”
“A long time! always! my hand in your hair
Will sow the stars of sapphire, pearl, ruby,
That you be never deaf to my desire,
My oasis and my gourd whence I aspire
To drink deep of the wine of memory.” (from “Her Hair”)
- “To wine, to opium even, I prefer the elixir of your lips.”
to wine, to opium even, I prefer
the elixir of your lips on which love flaunts itself;
and in the wasteland of desire
your eyes afford the wells to slake my thirst.” (from “Sed Non Satiata” or “Unslakeable Lust”)
- “Whether you come from heaven or from hell, who cares, O Beauty!”
Whether you come from heaven or from hell, who cares,
O Beauty! Huge, fearful, ingenuous monster!
If your regard, your smile, your foot, open for me
An Infinite I love but have not ever known? (from “Hymn to Beauty”)
- “Think of the rapture of living together there, of loving at will.”
“Think of the rapture
Of living together there!
Of loving at will,
Of loving till death,
In the land that is like you!
The misty sunlight
Of those cloudy skies
Has for my spirit the charms,
Of your treacherous eyes,
Shining brightly through their tears.
There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.” (from “Invitation to the Voyage”)
- “[Our hearts] shall be like unto two glowing coals, reflecting the twofold light of their fires
across the twin mirrors of our two souls.”
“We will have beds which exhale odours soft,
We will have divans profound as the tomb,
And delicate plants on the ledges aloft,
Which under the bluest of skies for us bloom.
Exhausting our hearts to their last desires,
They both shall be like unto two glowing coals,
Reflecting the twofold light of their fires
Across the twin mirrors of our two souls.
One evening of mystical azure skies,
We’ll exchange but one single lightning flash,
Just like a long sob — replete with good byes.
And later an angel shall joyously pass
Through the half-open doors, to replenish and wash
The torches expired, and the tarnished glass.” (“The Death of Lovers”)
- “How I love to see the skin of your [beautiful body] shimmer like silk.”
“Indolent darling, how I love
To see the skin
Of your body so beautiful
Shimmer like silk!
Upon your heavy head of hair
With its acrid scents,
Adventurous, odorant sea
With blue and brown waves,
Like a vessel that awakens
To the morning wind,
My dreamy soul sets sail
For a distant sky.
Your eyes where nothing is revealed
Of bitter or sweet,
Are two cold jewels where are mingled
Iron and gold.
To see you walking in cadence
With fine abandon,
One would say a snake which dances
On the end of a staff.” (from “The Dancing Serpent”)
Anca Rotar is a Romanian-born writer, over-thinker and caffeine addict. She is the author of two books, Hidden Animals and Before It Sets You Free, both available from Amazon.com. Among her interests, which she finds it hard to shut up about, she counts fashion, yoga, city breaks and deadpan sarcasm. She is also currently studying Japanese, so wish her luck. You can sample bits of Anca’s creative writing here.