The Vampire: A Poem by Charles Baudelaire *

Translated from the French
by Lasha Darkmoon

LD:   In August 1857, less than two months after Charles Baudelaire published Les Fleurs du Mal (‘The Flowers of Evil’), a French court banned six poems from its contents: Lesbos, Femmes damnés, Le Léthé, À celle qui est trop gaie, Les Bijoux, and Les Métamorphoses du Vampire. The poem below, though it also featured an erotic vampire, was so well written that the censors decided not to ban it;  though it was thought that it might have a corrupting effect on susceptible young men— if not women with lesbian tendencies. The femme fatale described in the poem was Baudelaire’s mistress, Jeanne Duval, an actress and dancer of mixed French and black African ancestry. A sex addict who frequently visited brothels, Baudelaire was completely bewitched by her. Here is a sketch of this temptress by Baudelaire.   Read More