Two editions of Fleurs du mal were published in Baudelaire's lifetime — one in 1857 and an expanded edition in 1861. "Scraps" and censored poems were collected in Les Épaves in 1866. After Baudelaire died the following year, a "definitive" edition appeared in 1868.

Supervert - Necrophilia VariationsFleursdumal.org is a labor of love produced and maintained by Supervert.

External Links

Vers pour le portrait de M. Honoré Daumier

Celui dont nous t'offrons l'image,
Et dont l'art, subtil entre tous,
Nous enseigne à rire de nous,
Celui-là, lecteur, est un sage.

C'est un satirique, un moqueur;
Mais l'énergie avec laquelle
Il peint le Mal et sa séquelle
Prouve la beauté de son coeur.

Son rire n'est pas la grimace
De Melmoth ou de Méphisto
Sous la torche de l'Alecto
Qui les brûle, mais qui nous glace,

Leur rire, hélas! de la gaieté
N'est que la douloureuse charge;
Le sien rayonne, franc et large,
Comme un signe de sa bonté!

Charles Baudelaire


Verses for the Portrait of M. Honoré Daumier

He whose portrait we offer you,
Whose art subtler than all others,
Teaches us to laugh at ourselves,
He is a sage, gentle reader.

He's a satirist, a scoffer;
But the power with which he paints
Evil and his retinue
Attests the beauty of his heart.

His laughter is not the grimace
Of Melmoth or of Mephisto
Under Alecto's torch which burns them
But makes our blood run cold.

Their laughter, alas! is only
A sad caricature of mirth;
His radiates, hearty and free,
Like a symbol of his goodness!

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

Verses for Honoré Daumier's Portrait

The man whose image this presents,
In art more subtle than the rest,
Teaches us sagely, as is best,
To chuckle at our own expense.

In mockery he stands apart.
His energy defies an equal
In painting Evil and its sequel —
Which proves the beauty of his heart —

Melmoth or Mephostopheles,
His mirth has naught akin to theirs.
The flambeau of Alecto flares
To singe them, while it makes us freeze.

Their merriment they come to rue
So steeped in treachery and guile,
While his frank radiating smile
Declares him to be good and true.

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