“When with Fatal Law the Shadow Threatened Me” by Stéphane Mallarmé

Stéphane Mallarmé was a French poet from the second half of the 19th century. The literary child of Baudelaire, Mallarmé crafted difficult poetry rich with disturbing symbols and musical language. Here is a translation of one of my favorite poems of his. When with Fatal Law the Shadow Threatened Me…

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“The Wolf Howls” by Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud was a visionary French poet who wrote all his startlingly original verse as a teenager. After the age of 20, he abandoned creative writing. He died shortly after his 37th birthday. The wolf howls beneath the leaves Spitting up the gorgeous plumes Of the fowl on which he…

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“The Sleeper in the Vale” by Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud was a visionary French poet who wrote all his startlingly original verse as a teenager. After the age of 20, he abandoned creative writing. He died shortly after his 37th birthday. In a green hollow where a river sings, Moss sways wildly in ribbons of silver; The sun…

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“The Albatross” by Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire was an innovative and macabre French poet of the 19th century. Often, for fun, the men of the crew Catch albatrosses, vast birds of the seas, That follow the ship like lazy companions As it glides its way over bitter depths. No sooner are they pinned to the…

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“The Vampire” by Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire was an innovative and macabre French poet of the 19th century. You who, like a thrusting knife, plunged into my plaintive heart; You who, strong as a demon horde, Arrived, insane and all adorned: From my humble spirit Build your bed and your domain; O wretch to whom…

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