Rotting Corpse, by Charles Baudelaire (Darkmoon translation)

Rotting  Corpse

Remember that thing we saw, my love,
one fine sweet summer morning as we turned
the path. Across the gravel-strewn ground
lay sprawled a rotting corpse. Its legs aloft,

kicking the air like a whore on heat,
seething and dripping with poisons,
displaying in a shameless fashion its fetid
womb, reeking with rotten smells!

The sun blazed down upon this festering
heap of putrescence, as if to toast it to a turn,
giving back to Nature with a vengeance
all the bits and pieces she had put together.

The sky watched that gorgeous corpse
blossom like a baleful flower. The stench
of it was so appalling, you almost
swooned away  on the grass! Flies buzzed

round that foul womb. From it  poured forth
black batallions of maggots like a viscous
jelly, oozing across the mass of living rags.
Rising and falling  in waves, the whole thing

popped and crackled and sputtered
like a sparkling devilfroth.  It was as if
the body, inflated with unmentionable
gases, was alive and kicking!

Une Charogne :

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29 thoughts on “Rotting Corpse, by Charles Baudelaire (Darkmoon translation)

  1. hey xanadu, tell grandpa charlie not to disturb the corpse’s beautyrest.

    on a more analytic note, i would anticipate john kaminski’s argument that its fetid womb is the birthplace of religion.
    maybe this is why charles refers to it as “gorgeous”.

    and indeed, i generally refrain from using that term because of its association with sinful over-ripeness, whereas baudelaire refuses to subliminate the attraction.
    (soft, ripe french cheeses and all that :-), some like it, some prefer safe distance)

  2. Exquisitely translated, Darkmoon, but I note you have only translated part of the poem. You have left out the several verses at the end, possibly because you got bored halfway through!

    Naughty, naughty.

    Here are the last three verses in a rhymed translation which I really like:

    — Yet shall you be like this ordurous blight,
    You, too, shall rot in just such fashion,
    Star of my eyes, sun of my soul’s delight,
    Aye, you, my angel and my passion.

    Such you, O queen of graces, in the hours,
    When the last sacrament is said,
    That bear you under rich sods and Iush flower
    To molder with the moldering dead.

    Then, O my beauty! Tell such worms as will
    Kiss you in ultimate coition
    That I have kept the form and essence of
    My love in its decomposition.

    — Jacques LeClercq, Flowers of Evil
    (Mt Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1958)

    1. i actually find this corpse comical, like out of some tim burton movie.
      or maybe an irish/blonde joke … why does she have such bright and twinkly blue eyes?

      damn the jewish “artists” …

      1. xanadu, you are spooky enough for me but in a fine, mysterious way.

        corpses are just meat left outside fridge for too long, they only turn my stomach.
        were i of different constitution, say vulture or hyena, i would no doubt find them an aphrodisiac.

        (i had a bad little yorkie who would roll in moldering carcasses of dead squirrels when he found them in park … was also a well known ladies, … um bitches’, man … um, dawg)

    1. just starting, no guarantees that i will understand much … i am not a trained musician, though blessed with a good ear for it, esp. classical.

      look ye here, music has gone from interacting with intellect to interacting with crotch.

      meanwhile, listen to this (pictures of macedonia are nice too, someday i’d like to see it before it gets bagged by the noahide coalition)

    2. ok, blasted thru the linked pages w/o delving much into it, just to scoop up the essence.
      also check this
      consider an interference pattern in a double-slit experiment, how the incoming waves combine to either augment their amplitudes (peaks) or cancel them (troughs).
      or watch the beach surf, how the receding water meets the incoming rollers with similar effects of augmentation or cancelation.
      the authors argue that sonic frequencies interact with our internal bilogical (and psychological) processes to produce analogous results.
      for example, frequencies of 528 or 417 hz are found to be beneficial in strengthening our bio-fiber (my word invented especially for occasion) – could the oriental “oohm” sound be based on those frequencies/ – versus the “evil” frequency of 440 hz, which produces negative results and also psychosis in people and animals, herding them into fearful, unreasoning, easily manipulated clusters.

      all plausible but i cannot vouch for the accuracy nor credibility of the sources.
      that said, i have no doubt that music industry is a mass control tool in hands of illuminati.

      1. Hmmm…I hope it’s still safe listening to Mozart!

        Could they change the “frequencies” on Mozart from good frequency to bad frequency (440 herz) and still make it sound like Mozart? Or is that impossible?

        As you can see, I’m a musical ignoramus.

        Basically, I’m wondering if they can do something to classical music to make it have “evil” effects on the audience in the same way they can make a beautiful seascape have “evil” effects by superimposing split-second (subliminal effect) pics of naked bodies having sex orgies in the waves etc etc…?

        In other words: you think you’re looking at a beautiful seascape, but you’re looking at much more. There’s more than meets the eye here. Similarly, you think you’re listening to Mozart, but you’re listening to much more. There’s more than meets the ear here.

        In both cases, you’re being subliminally corrupted.

        If it’s not arrived yet, I’m sure it will.

      2. as much as i grew up on 60’s music, i got quite revolted by it by say, 1972-3 and switched entirely to classical, especially beethoven, schumann, brahms, sibelius, bach, scarlatti.
        and because i saw a very special film (maybe the only one that ever truly connected with me), i got to like these albinoni adagios as linked to above.
        but with time, it all fell into neglect and i stopped listening to music altogether, although i still get the urge sometime.

      3. didn’t reply to your query … no, i think that all of classical is based on “good freqs”, especially baroque and romantic periods.

        and just say no to bob dylan zimmerman shabtai zisel ben avraham, leonard cohen if you don’t want your dose of 440

      4. are you ever struck by how when forced into previewing trailers in movie theatres, the sounds are overpoweringly aggressive?

        that’s hollywood for you, raping you with nauseating sounds worse than gybroch.

        wonder if israel’s barcode of 729 has some tonality as well …

  3. ever wonder why grandpa charles made the corpse a female one, xanadu?

    been thinking on this topic, glass or two of vino and ubiquitous habano.

    apart from the the “fetid womb” being the matrix of religious notions, it strikes me that death is a female entity.
    it represents progressive softness and yielding to fate, defenseless, beyond hard nosed, battle ready intellect.
    here in mexico, they worship it at a grass roots level, santa muerte, a sex-charged matron of death, the most roll-the-dice gangs in tipito neighborhood of distrito federal adopt her as their patron saint, holy virgin with an edge.

    moreover, it connects to passage (possibly, dunno) leading to birth, another feminine construct.

    grandpa was a genius to have intuited all of this, a great poem, may you continue in his steps … and you will.

    1. Yes, Baudelaire was a genius all right, but a genius of darkness and he brings with him the same whiff of decadence you find in so many romantics. The very title of his book Fleurs du Mal (‘Flowers of Evil’) says it all. Read him long enough and he reaches out to you and, when you’re not looking, slips his hypodermic needle into your jugular vein…and soon the black venom is circulating throughout your system.

      He does not corrupt you in the same way as the unsubtle Marquis de Sade corrupts you. He corrupts you by appealing to your finest religious instincts. Thus in Hymn to Satan he manages to romanticize the Devil and make him a heroic figure, casting a veil of glamor over him.

      Underneath it all lies libido, the sex force that drives the machine.

      There’s no doubt that Grandpa Charles was what we moderns call a “sex addict”. He spent all his time visiting prostitutes and his best poems were probably written in the brothel, propped up in bed beside some Jewess with her dark moon cavern eyes and vermilion lips.

      The thing about Baudelaire that is particularly dangerous is that he gives carte blanche to all our baser instincts: the instincts we need to restrain in the interests of our own survival.

      He say to the Libido, “Thou art good, give thyself free rein!” He celebrates the dark forces and the Dionysian tendencies, the orgiastic delights, the voluptuous demons. Many young men and women I know have been enticed by Satan’s sweetmeats. We have eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and it has brought us nothing but sadness — la grande tristesse.

      But nothing is so bad but a great good cannot be squeezed out of it.

      1. Out of interest, here is Baudelaire’s Hymn to Satan (translated by me). Of all the poems and translations included on this site, this particular poem gets more page views than any other. Maybe TEN times more. Sometimes it is the top item. Extraordinary.

        It’s because people with an interest in Satan (possibly Satanists) are doing a google search for “Satan”.

        BAUDELAIRE’S Hymn to Satan

      2. i haven’t seen it yet, because i am almost genetically predisposed to being the odd man out in every situation 🙂
        but i did start reading milton’s paradise lost where john treats lucifer with great sympathy from the point of fiercely proud, rebellious intellect.
        to me, it is of great interest because it ties in with what the devil’s advocate in me has to say in defense of judaism (my devil’s advocate actually argues in their favor way better than they have ever managed).

        couple of points before i irretrievably veer off our subject.

        baudelaire, despite all his breathless worship of mortal and moral decay, well recognizes his perdition, throws himself headlong into the chasm with a sort of desperation, i.e., he is not unaware of the dynamics of doom.

        you, while sharing many of his traits, take the opposite tack.
        you venture into those vile realms, feel their bestial pull nad emerge into the light, your moral fibre strengthened.
        my prediction is that you’ll be just fine and will surpass the old rogue by a wide margin.

        and now, let’s check out that hymn

        (by the way, i read maybe 10 pages of milton, poring over every stupenduous phrase many times and then … quit … i think it has to do with my dyslexic disposition, which unlike jessel’s is real)

      3. “(my devil’s advocate actually argues in their favor way better than they have ever managed)”

        That is actually quite wonderful and honest.
        Perhaps lobro will privilege us with an original thought (or two) on the matter sometime.

        Kinda like saying they don’t eat pork for all the wrong reasons?

        Hey, us black sheep gotta stick together..

        After all, Satan, by virtue of being the first mate once upon a time, also surely also exhibited some outstanding quantities of qualities, once upon a time.

      4. hm, actually did read it before and forgot until i saw my comment … hooked you into responding too 🙂

        god the oppressor? i suppose goodness can be smothering at times … or just plain boring, no?
        anyway, i haven’t see enough of it myself in order to overdose.

        bring on the winged harps … but leave baudelairian stuff underground/below belt.

        if there is an expert on heaven, i would like to know whether one is required to be neutered/spayed before being granted entry.

      5. hey hp,
        i think that between two of us we could round up quite a panoply of defenses in their favor, e.g., parasites and pathogens serving a useful evolutionary purpose in terms of moral and intellectual purification of species or how they object to unquestioned tyranny of good and so on and so on.

        but in the end, i object on aesthetical grounds, because it stinks to me, disgusting at every level, from kol nidre onwards.

        this is my elevator (going down into basement levels) pitch against the dark side.

        (it might take getting stuck in an elevator for a while before i marshal equally coherent arguments for the bright side)

      6. … some Jewess with her DARKMOON cavern eyes and vermilion lips

        almost spluttered suppressing laughter.
        you are a visual one, aren’t you, xanadu?
        go on, off to the races, didn’t mean to trip you up.

      7. I don’t know about that, lobro, (neutered/spayed) but I think circumscribed is required.

        If that’s the case, I’m good to go!

      8. if you say so, hp.

        so long as it is not circumcised, which would doubtlessly be a hellish experience.

        although i never thought of you as being in any way restricted, just the opposite.

  4. He wrote of a rotting animal corpse, and imagined his and every ones eventual fate. The hideous urban landscape of 19 th century Paris imbued with ideas of enlightenment and modernity is now the entire globe.
    Corpses fresh with their faces crushed by tanks, the fresh limp body of the little girl lifted by an old man from the rubble of his house pulverized by F16s. These are Baudelaire images of today. He was taken to court for disturbing the sensibilities of the genteel.

  5. RIP Earl Scruggs..

    He sure made me smile. Made me feel real good.

    And speaking of albinos … I’m having a hard time discovering any nuanced implications lurking in the depths of this sentimental rhapsody. Of course I have a tin ear.
    Two of em actually.

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