Saturday, June 12, 2021

La Mort des Amants

Read "La Mort des Amants" at The Eldritch Dark:

This French title of this short poem from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) can be translated as "The Death of Lovers".  A sonnet with an identical title is found in Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal.  CAS made a translation of Baudelaire's poem during the former's abortive attempt to produce a complete English translation of Les Fleurs du mal.  The Eldritch Dark has CAS' translation:

Baudelaire's original French text, as well as a number of other English translations, are available at the essential site

CAS' haiku "La Mort des Amants" can be read as an ironic counterpoint to Baudelaire's lush romantic verse, chronicling a quick and violent end to the loud lovemaking of felines.  It's tempting to read this haiku as something that CAS composed in the middle of the night, when the rowdy amours disturbed his sleep and made him wish for the utility of a handy firearm.  Or perhaps he did in fact fire that decisive bullet?

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