Performance by Alan F. Kreb (as translated to written form by A.K.Sterne)@ aks

Charles Baudelaire lived 1821 through 1867.  “The Flowers Of Evil-To the Reader” by Charles Baudelaire was first published in 1857. This idea is an old one.

The English translation, included in our textbook, was provided by Robert Lowell.

My appreciation for Lowell’s excellent work, for having done so with obvious appreciation and respect for the original idea. My understanding of the idea behind the

poem is made possible by the determined effort of Lowell. Having read this poem a few times, I am yet amazed at just how far back some of the curse words go. My appreciation for Lowell’s diligence includes the impressive results of translating from French to English…we should be aware how difficult it is, translating French shit…! As I understand this poem, the idea behind it is to awaken each to the responsibility of improving our expressions, both in writing and verbal…yet as suggested in verse,

that we be aware of certain traits within each of us, as is the human condition.


I know from personal experience, that children love to learn, to express themselves, and

certain words, and ideas, that when repeated, gain them attention. Just for that reason alone, we must be conscientious in our ways and means of exercising our liberties and freedoms. It follows, that this particular poem is an important element within the grand

art that is Literature…..


The Flowers Of Evil, by Charles Baudelaire; translation to English by Robert Lowell –


Infatuation, sadism, lust, avarice

Possess our souls and drain the body’s forces;                        1st stanza

We spoonfeed our adorable remorse,                             

like whores or beggars nourishing their lice.


Our sins are mulish, our confessions lies;

We play to the grandstand with our promises,                          2nd stanza

we pray for tears to wash our filthyness,

importantly pissing hogwash through our styes.


There’s one more ugly and abortive birth.

It makes no gestures, never beats its breast,                              next to last

yet it would murder for a moments rest,                                    stanza

and willingly annihilate the earth.


It’s BOREDOM. Tears have glued its eyes together.

You know it well, my Reader. This obscene                              concluding

beast chain-smokes yawning for the guillotine –                         stanza

You – hypocrite reader – my double – my brother.


Thank you professor, and thank you(‘all) for your attention.


                                            Sincerely,  aln – English Literature 232/autumn/Y2K