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Charles Baudelaire Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Charles Baudelaire.

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Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1232212

Where ever I am not is the place where I am myself. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 487733

Ah! Seigneur! donnez-moi la force et le courage De contempler mon coeur et mon corps sans de go u t. Lord! give me the strength and the courage To see my heart and my body without disgust. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 896474

I ask every thinking man to show me what remains of life. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 574662

What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1505217

From that moment onwards, our loathsome society rushed, like Narcissus, to contemplate its trivial image on a metallic plate. A form of lunacy, an extraordinary fanaticism took hold of these new sun-worshippers. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 597258

He possessed the logic of all good intentions and a knowledge of all the tricks of his trade, and yet he never succeeded at anything, because he believed too much in the impossible. Surprising? Why so? He was forever in the act of conceiving it! — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1509005

Lost in this awful world, rubbing shoulders with the multitudes, I am like a tired man whose eye can't see behind him, in the deep years, anything but disillusion and bitterness, and in front of him, nothing but a storm which contains nothing new, neither learning nor pain. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 78706

From his soft fur, golden and brown, Goes out so sweet a scent, one night I might have been embalmed in it By giving him one little pet. He is my household's guardian soul; He judges, he presides, inspires All matters in his royal realm; Might he be fairy? or a god? When my eyes, to this cat I love Drawn as by a magnet's force, Turn tamely back upon that appeal, And when I look within myself, I notice with astonishment The fire of his opal eyes, Clear beacons glowing, living jewels, Taking my measure, steadily. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 203867

Poetry and progress are like two ambitious men who hate one another with an instinctive hatred, and when they meet upon the same road, one of them has to give place. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 572727

Nothing in a portrait is a matter of indifference. Gesture, grimace, clothing, decor even - all must combine to realize a character. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1932947

Nothing is as tedious as the limping days,
When snowdrifts yearly cover all the ways,
And ennui, sour fruit of incurious gloom,
Assumes control of fate's immortal loom — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 383544

- Who dares, in front of Love, to mention Hell?
Curbed forever be that useless dreamer
Who first imagined, in his brutish mind,
Of sheer futility the fatuous schemer,
Honour with Love could ever be combined.
He who in mystic union would enmesh
Shadow with warmth, and daytime with the night,
Will never warm his paralytic flesh
At the red sun of amorous delight.
Go, if you wish, and seek some boorish lover:
Offer your virgin heart to his crude hold,
Full of remorse and horror you'll recover,
And bring me your scarred breast to be consoled ...
Down here, a soul can only serve one master.
(Damned Women) — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1713320

The saddest thing is that every love has an unhappy ending, and all the more unhappy in proportion to how divinely it began, with what wings it first took flight. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2184581

There can be no progress-real, moral prgress-except in the individual and by the individual himself. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 472795

This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds; one man would like to suffer in front of the stove, and another believes that he would recover his health beside the window. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2123663

Extract the eternal from the ephemeral. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 906420

The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2096365

Theory of the true civilization. It is not to be found in gas or steam or table turning. It consists in the diminution of the traces of original sin. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1604852

The cannon thunders ... limbs fly in all directions ... one can hear the groans of victims and the howling of those performing the sacrifice ... it's Humanity in search of happiness. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1026118

Imagination is the queen of truth, and possibility is one of the regions of truth. She is positively akin to infinity. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 99176

Let us beware of common folk, common sense, sentiment, inspiration, and the obvious. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 114170

To the solemn graves, near a lonely cemetery, my heart like a muffled drum is beating funeral marches. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 135828

Nature ... is nothing but the inner voice of self-interest. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 187821

What do I care if you are good? Be beautiful! and be sad! — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 191701

Hashish will be, indeed, for the impressions and familiar thoughts of the man, a mirror which magnifies, yet no more than a mirror. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 204289

There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 207219

And the lamp having at last resigned itself to death.
There was nothing now but firelight in the room,
And every time a flame uttered a gasp for breath
It flushed her amber skin with the blood of its bloom. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 217749

I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 234646

Strangeness is the indispensable condiment of all beauty. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 251080

Who among us has not dreamt, in moments of ambition, of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical without rhythm and rhyme, supple and staccato enough to adapt to the lyrical stirrings of the soul, the undulations of dreams, and sudden leaps of consciousness. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 279833

The priest is immense because he makes others believe in a heap of weird things. The Church wanting to do everything and be everything: it is a law of human spirit. Peoples adore authority. Priests are the servants and followers of imagination. The throne and the altar: revolutionary maxim. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 372277

I sit in the sky like a sphinx misunderstood; My heart of snow is wed to the whiteness of swans; I hate the movement that displaces the rigid lines, With lips untaught neither tears nor laughter do I know. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 397286

An artist is only an artist on condition that he neglects no aspect of his dual nature. This dualism is the power of being oneself and someone else at one and the same time. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 417219

The insatiable thirst for everything which lies beyond, and which life reveals, is the most living proof of our immortality. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 440286

Immediate work, even poor, is worth more than dreams. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 443219

It is the greatest art of the devil to convince us he does not exist. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 453167

So you see how difficult it is to understand one another, my dear angel, how incommunicable thought is, even between two people in love. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 470002

The son will run away from the family not at eighteen but at twelve, emancipated by his gluttonous precocity; he will fly not to seek heroic adventures, not to deliver a beautiful prisoner from a tower, not to immortalize a garret with sublime thoughts, but to found a business, to enrich himself and to compete with his infamous papa. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 470971

Each day we take another step to hell,
Descending through the stench, unhorrified — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 475196

What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound than a portrait. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 535080

Ne cherchez plus mon coeur; les be tes l'ont mange . Don't search any further for my heart; wild beasts ate it. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 563071

In putting off what one has to do, one runs the risk of never being able to do it. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 638962

Prisoned in glass beneath my seals of red. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 690076

To fornicate is to aspire to enter into another; the artist never emerges from himself. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 746715

An industry which can furnish results identical to nature must be the absolute in art. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 767045

The room was filled with deep, raucous sighs, sudden sobs, silent floods of tears. The horrified musician stopped,and going up to the man whose bliss was expressing itself most noisily, he asked him if he was in great pain and what would help to relieve it. But the sick man, his eyes gleaming ecstatically, looked at him with unspeakable contempt. Fancy wanting to save a man sick with too much life, sick with joy! — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 802542

To be away from home and yet find oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet remain hidden from the world. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 835628

There are some temptations which are so strong that they must be virtues. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 870854

I sincerely believe that the best criticism is the criticism that is entertaining and poetic; not a cold analytical type of criticism, which, claiming to explain everything, is devoid of hatred and love, and deliberately rids itself of any trace of feeling, but, since a fine painting is nature reflected by an artist, the best critical study, I repeat, will be the one that is that painting reflected by an intelligent and sensitive mind. Thus the best accounts of a picture may well be a sonnet or an elegy ... But that type of criticism is destined for books of poetry and for readers of poetry. As to criticism proper, I hope philosophers will understand what I am about to say: to be in focus, in other words to justify itself, criticism must be partial, passionate, political, that is to say it must adopt an exclusive point of view, provided always the one adopted opens up the widest horizons. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 901474

The old Paris is no more (the form of a city changes faster, alas! than a mortal's heart). — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 917927

There are moments of existence when time and space are more profound, and the awareness of existence is immensely heightened. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 923056

The beautiful is always bizarre. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1073670

Amer savoir, celui qu'on tire du voyage! Bitter is the knowledge gained in travelling. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1096114

THE OWLS
by: Charles Baudelaire
UNDER the overhanging yews,
The dark owls sit in solemn state,
Like stranger gods; by twos and twos
Their red eyes gleam. They meditate.
Motionless thus they sit and dream
Until that melancholy hour
When, with the sun's last fading gleam,
The nightly shades assume their power.
From their still attitude the wise
Will learn with terror to despise
All tumult, movement, and unrest;
For he who follows every shade,
Carries the memory in his breast,
Of each unhappy journey made.
'The Owls' is reprinted from The Poems and Prose Poems of Charles Baudelaire. Ed. James Huneker. New York: Brentano's, 1919. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1114675

Being a useful man has always seemed to me to be something truly hideous. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1150284

To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1188678

We are all born marked for evil. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1207262

There exist only three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1222532

For every letter of creditors, write fifty lines on an extraterrestrial subject and you'll be saved. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1246911

For each letter received from a creditor, write fifty lines on an extraterrestrial subject and you will be saved. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1257872

Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject, nor exact truth, but in the way of feeling. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1260257

Seek not my heart; the beasts have eaten it — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1262482

And yet
to wine, to opium even, I prefer
the elixir of your lips on which love flaunts itself;
and in the wasteland of desire
your eyes afford the wells to slake my thirst. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1320549

Always be a poet, even in prose. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1328606

There are but three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the warrior and the poet. To know, to kill and to create. The rest of mankind may be taxed and drudged, they are born for the stable, that is to say, to practise what they call professions. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1348464

Only when we drink poison are we well. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1393105

France is not poetic; she even feels, in fact, a congenital horror of poetry. Among the writers who use verse, those whom she will always prefer are the most prosaic. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1409732

I have cultivated my hysteria with pleasure and terror. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1467603

I know that pain is the one nobility / upon which Hell itself cannot encroach — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1496879

Nations, like families, have great men only in spite of themselves. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1500115

A child sees everything in a sense of newness - he is always drunk. Genius is nothing but childhood re-attained at will. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1516084

I'm not saying that the world will be reduced to expedient means and ridiculous disorder of the South American republics, - that we could maybe even return to savagery, and walk through the overgrown ruins of our civilization searching for food with a gun in our hand. No; - because such a destiny and such adventures would still presuppose a vital energy, an echo of primeval ages. As the new example and the new victims of inexorable moral laws, we shall perish by what we thought was our life-giver. Engineering will make us so Americanized, progress will create such great atrophy of everything spiritual in us, that the bloody, sacrilegious or unnatural dreams of the utopians could never compare with its positive results. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1524972

This life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed with a desire to change his bed. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1646555

You walk on corpses, beauty, undismayed. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1707065

What men call love is a very small, restricted, feeble thing compared with this ineffable orgy, this divine prostitution of the soul giving itself entire, all its poetry and all its charity, to the unexpected as it comes along, to the stranger as he passes. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1732094

That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal; from which it follows that irregularity - that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment, are an essential part and characteristic of beauty. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1755629

The child, in love with prints and maps,
Holds the whole world in his vast appetite.
How large the earth is under the lamplight!
But in the eyes of memory, how the world is cramped! — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1774785

We all have the republican spirit in our veins, like syphilis in our bones. We are democratized and venerealized. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1776148

There are in every man, always, two simultaneous allegiances, one to God, the other to Satan. Invocation of God, or Spirituality, is a desire to climb higher; that of Satan, or animality, is delight in descent. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1782287

Listen, my dear-- with soft step the night hears. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1908535

How many years of fatigue and punishment it takes to learn the simple truth that work, that disagreeable thing, is the only way of not suffering in life, or at all events, of suffering less. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1909762

What bizarre things does not one find in a great city when one knows how to walk about and how to look! Life swarms with innocent monsters. Oh Lord my God, Thou Creator, Thou Master, Thou who hast made law and liberty, Thou the Sovereign who dost allow, Thou the Judge who dost pardon, Thou who art full of Motives and of Causes, Thou who hast (it may be) placed within my soul the love of horror in order to turn my hear to Thee, like the cure which follows the knife; Oh Lord, have pity, have pity upon the mad men and women that we are! Oh Creator, is it possible that monsters should exist in the eyes of Him alone who knoweth why they exist, how they have made themselves, and how they would have made themselves, and could not? — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1925969

Charles Baudelaire: Get Drunk
One should always be drunk. That's all that matters; that's our one imperative need. So as not to feel Time's horrible burden that breaks your shoulders and bows you down, you must get drunk without ceasing.
But what with? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.
And if, at some time, on the steps of a palace, in the green grass of a ditch, in the bleak solitude of your room, you are waking up when drunkenness has already abated, ask the wind, the wave, a star, the clock, all that which flees, all that which groans, all that which rolls, all that which sings, all that which speaks, ask them what time it is; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will reply: 'It is time to get drunk! So that you may not be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk, and never pause for rest! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose!'
Charles Baudelaire, tr. Michael Hamburger — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1944252

The immense appetite we have for biography comes from a deep-seated sense of equality. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1948011

In certain almost supernatural states of the soul, the profundity of life reveals itself entirely in the spectacle, however ordinary it may be, before one's eyes. It becomes its symbol. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1950566

All fashions are charming, or rather relatively charming, each one being a new striving, more or less well conceived, after beauty, an approximate statement of an ideal, the desire for which constantly teases the unsatisfied human mind. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1965030

Both ardent lovers and austere scholars, when once they come to the years of discretion, love cats, so strong and gentle, the pride of the household, who like them are sensitive to the cold, and sedentary. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 1969913

Doubt, or the absence of faith and naivete, is a vice peculiar to this age, for no one is obedient nowadays; and naivete, which means the dominance of temperament in the manner, is a gift from God, possessed by very few. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2052968

From Satan or from God, what matter? Angel or Siren,
What matter, if you make - fairy with velvet eyes,
Rhythm, perfume, light, o my only queen -
The universe less hideous, each moment less strained? — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2070618

Once someone asked, when I was present, what constituted the greatest pleasure in love. Someone replied, naturally: in receiving. Another: in giving. Someone said: the pleasure of pride! someone else: the ecstasy of humility! All these muckers making like the Imitation of Christ. Finally, an impudent utopian was found who insisted that the greatest pleasure of love was in forming new citizens for the fatherland. Me, I said: what is uniquely, supremely voluptuous about love lies in the certainty of doing evil. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2094355

My love, do you recall the object which we saw,
That fair, sweet, summer morn!
At a turn in the path a foul carcass
On a gravel strewn bed,
Its legs raised in the air, like a lustful woman,
Burning and dripping with poisons,
Displayed in a shameless, nonchalant way
Its belly, swollen with gases. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2106231

There are women who inspire you with the desire to conquer them and to take your pleasure of them; but this one fills you only with the desire to die slowly beneath her gaze. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2115052

I am the wound and the knife!
I am the slap and the cheek!
I am the limbs and the rack,
And the victim and the executioner!
I am the vampire of my own heart. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2117047

Where are the dogs going? you people who pay so little attention ask. They are going about their business. And they are very punctilious, without wallets, notes, and without briefcases. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2121550

What is irritating about love is that it is a crime that requires an accomplice. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2126382

The more delicate and ambitious the soul, the further do dreams estrange it from possible things. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2127246

A tender heart unnerved by nothingness
hoards every fragment of the radiant past. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2152199

It is the pleasure of astonishing others, and the proud satisfaction of never being astonished by them. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2190357

The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform. — Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire Quotes 2223354

I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws. — Charles Baudelaire