Correspondences by Charles Baudelaire (a new translation)

Nature is a temple where living pillars

sometimes whisper confused words;

people pass through a forest of symbols

that look at them with knowing eyes.

 

Like resonant echoes far in the distance

in a dark and profound unity,

vast like the night and as clear as light,

perfumes, colors, and sounds answer.

 

There are perfumes as fresh as baby flesh,

as soft as oboes, as green as prairies,

—and others, corrupt, rich, and triumphant,

 

able to expand into infinities,

like amber, or music, or resins, and incense,

that sing the transport of the spirit and the senses.

 

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