יום רביעי



Anonymous אנונימי said...

This poem by Charles Baudelaire (1861) I found to be one of my preferred and closest to the sensibilities of my heart... I wish to preserve it here, with some English translations vainly attempting to render its perfect rhythm and tormented musicality...

Please, be silent and read:

~À J.G.F.

Je te frapperai sans colère
Et sans haine, comme un boucher,
Comme Moïse le rocher
Et je ferai de ta paupière,

Pour abreuver mon Saharah
Jaillir les eaux de la souffrance.
Mon désir gonflé d'espérance
Sur tes pleurs salés nagera

Comme un vaisseau qui prend le large,
Et dans mon coeur qu'ils soûleront
Tes chers sanglots retentiront
Comme un tambour qui bat la charge!

Ne suis-je pas un faux accord
Dans la divine symphonie,
Grâce à la vorace Ironie
Qui me secoue et qui me mord

Elle est dans ma voix, la criarde!
C'est tout mon sang ce poison noir!
Je suis le sinistre miroir
Où la mégère se regarde.

Je suis la plaie et le couteau!
Je suis le soufflet et la joue!
Je suis les membres et la roue,
Et la victime et le bourreau!

Je suis de mon coeur le vampire,
— Un de ces grands abandonnés
Au rire éternel condamnés
Et qui ne peuvent plus sourire!

-— Charles Baudelaire (1861 ed.)

The Man Who Tortures Himself
~To J. G. F.

I shall strike you without anger
And without hate, like a butcher,
As Moses struck the rock!
And from your eyelids I shall make

The waters of suffering gush forth
To inundate my Sahara.
My desire swollen with hope
Will float upon your salty tears

Like a vessel which puts to sea,
And in my heart that they'll make drunk
Your beloved sobs will resound
Like a drum beating the charge!

Am I not a discord
In the heavenly symphony,
Thanks to voracious Irony
Who shakes me and who bites me?

She's in my voice, the termagant!
All my blood is her black poison!
I am the sinister mirror
In which the vixen looks.

I am the wound and the dagger!
I am the blow and the cheek!
I am the members and the wheel,
Victim and executioner!

I'm the vampire of my own heart
— One of those utter derelicts
Condemned to eternal laughter,
But who can no longer smile!

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

~To J. G. F.

I'll strike you, but without the least
Anger — as butchers poll an ox,
Or Moses, when he struck the rocks —
That from your eyelid thus released,

The lymph of suffering may brim
To slake my desert of its drought.
So my desire, by hope made stout,
Upon your salty tears may swim,

Like a proud ship, far out from shore.
Within my heart, which they'll confound
With drunken joy, your sobs will sound
Like drums that beat a charge in war.

Am I not a faulty chord
In all this symphony divine,
Thanks to the irony malign
That shakes and cuts me like a sword?

It's in my voice, the raucous jade!
It's in my blood's black venom too!
I am the looking-glass, wherethrough
Megera sees herself portrayed!

I am the wound, and yet the blade!
The smack, and yet the cheek that takes it!
The limb, and yet the wheel that breaks it,
The torturer, and he who's flayed!

One of the sort whom all revile,
A Vampire, my own blood I quaff,
Condemned to an eternal laugh
Because I know not how to smile.

— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)


Heauton Timoroumenos

I mean to strike you without hate,
As butchers do; as Moses did
The rock. From under either lid
Your tears will flow to inundate

This huge Sahara which is I.
My heart, insensible with pain,
Caught in that flood will live again:
Will care whether it live or die —

Will strive as in the salty sea,
Drunken with brine and all but drowned,
Yet driven onward by the sound
Of your wild sobbing endlessly!

For look — I am at war, my dear,
With the whole universe. I know
There is no medicine for my woe.
Believe me, it is called Despair.

It runs in all my veins. I pray:
It cries in all my words. I am
The very glass where what I damn
Leers and admires itself all day.

I am the wound — I am the knife
The deep wound scabbards; the outdrawn
Rack, and the writhing thereupon;
The lifeless, and the taker of life.

I murder what I most adore,
Laughing: I am indeed of those
Condemned for ever without repose
To laugh — but who can smile no more.

— George Dillon, Flowers of Evil (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1936)


The Man Who Tortures Himself

I shall cleave without scrape or shock,
And, like a butcher, without hate,
Like Moses, when he struck the rock.
From your eyes I shall generate
Waters of woe throughout the years
To quench my fierce Sahara fires,
Swollen with vast hope, my desires
Shall float upon your bitter tears
Like a proud vessel, sailing large;
And in my heart, drunk at the sound,
Your cherished sobbing shall resound
Like drums beating the long lost charge.

Am I not a discordant note
In the celestial symphony,
Thanks to voracious Irony
Who shakes and bites me at the throat?
She's in my voice, the scold; her black
Poison is all my blood, alas!
I am the direful looking glass
Which flashes her reflection back.
I am the wound, the knives that strike,
The blows that crush, the head that reels,
I am wrenched limbs and grinding wheels,
Victim and hangman, as you like!

Vampire of my own heart, meanwhile,
A derelict, I am of those
Doomed to eternal laughter's throes,
Yet powerless to frame a smile!

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



I'll strike thee without enmity
nor wrath, like butchers at the block,
like Moses when he smote the rock!
I'll make those eyelids gush for me

with springs of suffering, whose flow
shall slake the desert of my thirst;
— a salt flood, where my lust accurst,
with Hope to plump her sail, shall go

as from the port a pitching barge,
and in my heart they satiate
thy sobs I love shall fulminate
loud as a drum that beats a charge!

for am I not a clashing chord
in all Thy heavenly symphony,
thanks to this vulture Irony
that shakes and bites me always, Lord?

she's in my voice, the screaming elf!
my poisoned blood came all from her!
I am the mirror sinister
in which the vixen sees herself!

I am the wound and I the knife!
I am the blow I give, and feel!
I am the broken limbs, the wheel,
the hangman and the strangled life!

I am my heart's own vampire, for
God has forsaken me, and men,
these lips can never smile again,
but laugh they must, and evermore!

— Lewis Piaget Shanks, Flowers of Evil (New York: Ives Washburn, 1931)


N.B.: I'd be interested to know which of the above translations evokes more emotion from readers...

4:08 אחה״צ  
Anonymous אנונימי said...

...and my unsatisfying Italian translation:

-(L'uomo che si tortura)

Ti colpirò senza collera
e senza odio, come un macellaio;
come Mosè colpì la roccia
e dalla tua palpebra

per dissetare il mio Sahara
distillerò le acque della sofferenza.
il mio desiderio gonfio di speranza
galleggerà sulle tue lagrime salate

come un vascello che prende il largo,
e nel mio cuore che inebrieranno,
i tuoi cari singhiozzi echeggeranno
come un tamburo che rimbomba.

Non sono forse io un falso accordo
nella divina sinfonia,
grazie alla vorace Ironia
che mi scuote e mi morde?

Essa è nella mia voce clamante!
È tutto sangue mio, questo nero veleno!
Io sono il sinistro specchio
in cui la megera si contempla.

Sono la piaga e il coltello,
lo schiaffo e la guancia.
sono le membra e la ruota,
la vittima e il carnefice!

Sono il vampiro del mio cuore:
uno di quei grandi derelitti
condannati al riso eterno
e incapaci di sorridere!

5:12 אחה״צ  
Anonymous אנונימי said...

The George Dillon translation evoked the most emotion in me. Words like endless sobbing and despair reverberate in my soul.
Truthfully aside from understanding, the only other emotion evoked is compassion. Torment does not dissappear but it can be lessened with understanding and compassion. The plight of this author is truly "A season in Hell". He should remember to fan the flames with pure love.....

6:52 אחה״צ  
Blogger Wanderer In Love said...

Your Dragonfly Riddle:
When I thought within the pentagram of my five senses..
I could not...
Opened my sixth sense...and I got.
Remove the circle of selfish wants,
The root of tetragrammaton comes sliding in

9:12 אחה״צ  
Anonymous אנונימי said...

There is a verse from Dante Alighieri's DIVINE COMEDY which obsesses me just like it did with Leonardo -- but, differently from the latter, I cannot seem to find an answer...

…Seggendo in piuma
In fama non si vien, ne’ sotto coltre,
Sanza la qual chi sua vita consuma
Cotal vestigio in terra di se’ lascia
Qual fummo in aere ed in acqua la schiuma.

[Lying in a feathered bed will not bring you fame, nor staying beneath the quilt, and he who uses up his life without achieving fame leaves no more vestige of himself on earth than smoke in the air or foam upon the water.]

--Lines from Dante’s Inferno copied out by Leonardo da Vinci {Windsor fol.12349v}

12:24 אחה״צ  
Anonymous אנונימי said...

God is eternally partially self-ignorant. If he knew all of himself, he could define himself. If he could define himself, he would be finite. But all he knows of himself is what he has created. What is created is his knowledge, what is potential is his mystery: mysterious in him and to him. --Erigena

God is caused by what it causes;
is made necessary by what it necessitates;
we cannot comprehend....
And we go on living,
in the final analysis,
because we do not know
why we are here to live.
Unknowing is vital to man as water.
We read books and ask questions
because we want to feel real, present.
We want to know that we don't know.

The ubiquitous absence of God
in ordinary life
is this sense of non-existing,
of mystery, of incalculable potentiality;
this eternal doubt that hovers
between the thing in itself
and our perception of it;
this dimension in and
by which all other dimensions exist.
The white paper that contains a drawing;
the space that contains a building;
the silence that contains a sonata;
the passage of time that prevents a sensation
or object continuing for ever;
all these are God.
Mystery, or unknowing, is energy.
As soon as a mystery is explained,
it ceases to be a source of energy.
If we question deep enough
there comes a point where answers,
if answers could be given,
would kill.
Your search for God
must remain a search,
and the answer hidden –
because an answer does not exist.
That's what makes us human.

...The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, -
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat - the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.

--from Renascence by E. St.Vincent Millay

6:59 אחה״צ  
Anonymous אנונימי said...

This is the link to the proper Leonardian mirror written brainteaser:


Enjoy it in front of a speculum...!

10:42 אחה״צ  
Blogger Haider Droubi said...

save lebanon,,,save humanity....
careful brutal images but true ....

12:45 אחה״צ  
Blogger Internet Street Philosopher said...

Where the flip have you been?

5:40 לפנה״צ  
Blogger Haider Droubi said...

happy new year

7:14 לפנה״צ  
Anonymous אנונימי said...

תגובה זו הוסרה על ידי מנהל הבלוג.

1:58 אחה״צ  

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