IBNA- The most famous volume of poems by leading French poet and writer Charles Baudelaire titled 'The Flowers of Evil' (Les Fleurs du mal) has been rendered into Persian and published.
Charles Pierre Baudelaire also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and one of the first translators of Edgar Allan Poe. He is regarded as a pioneer of symbolism and surrealism in poetry. 'The Flowers of Evil' has been translated into Persian by Mohammad-Reza Parsayar under the title ‘The Flowers of Pain’. Hermes Publishing in Tehran has released the book in a bilingual Persian and French edition in 126 pages and 550 copies.
The poems in the book express the changing nature of beauty in the rapidly industrializing Paris during the mid-19th century. Here, Baudelaire touches on sacred and profane love, metamorphosis, melancholy, the corruption of the city, lost innocence, the oppressiveness of living.
Notable in some poems is Baudelaire's use of imagery of the sense of smell and of fragrances, which is used to evoke feelings of nostalgia and past intimacy. His highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé, among many others.
The poem ‘Evil Fate’ in the collection reads:
To lift a weight so heavy,
Would take your courage, Sisyphus!
Although one's heart is in the work,
Art is long and Time is short.
Far from famous sepulchers
Toward a lonely cemetery
My heart, like muffled drums,
Goes beating funeral marches.
Many a jewel lies buried
In darkness and oblivion,
Far, far away from picks and drills;
Many a flower regretfully
Exhales perfume soft as secrets
In a profound solitude.
(William Aggeler translation, (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)
Baudelaire is credited with coining the term modernity (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility of artistic expression to capture that experience.
His poems exhibit mastery in the handling of rhyme and rhythm, contain an exoticism inherited from Romantics, but are based on observations of real life.