Showing posts with label Fir Forest 1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fir Forest 1. Show all posts

24 March 2023

Translation: Charles Baudelaire Communications

Gustav Klimt, Fir Forest 1, 1901

This is Bora Mici's original translation of the 1857 poem Correspondances or Communications in English by the French 19th century poet Charles Baudelaire. The poem expresses a synesthetic Symbolist vision of the connection between the poet and nature, and nature's ability to communicate with the poet and transport him to a realm where his senses are awakened and begin to dialogue with and become immersed in a natural forest of symbols, which seems familiar but has things to reveal. This poem places the emphasis on connections between the senses and the intellect and that's why I have chosen to translate it as Communications, rather than keeping the original concept of Correspondances, which seems to leave room for the incomplete or unachieved transmission of a coded missive, a parallelism that persists and that constitutes the metaphysics of our experience. It is perhaps to evoke a more contemporary reading of this timeless poem. 

Communications by Charles Baudelaire

Nature is a temple where many a living column
Sometimes muffled words whistles;
Man enters there through forests of symbols
That look upon him familiarly solemn.

Like long echoes that overlap far away
In a homogenous, deep darkness,
Expansive like the night and the brightness,
Aromas, colors, sounds dialogue in the leigh.

The perfumes smell fresh like children’s flesh,
Sweet like oboes, green like meadows,
— Yet others triumphant, rich, enmeshed

Expansive like infinite shadows,
Like amber, resin, incense and musk,
Singing the transports of mind and the senses at dusk.