Fleurs de Mal (Flowers of Evil) (1857)
by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) (tr. Richard Howard)
Rexroth recommended this work and poet, for reasons I cannot recall. (I’m not curious enough to check.)
I read about 20 poems, and parts of many more, and found not a single one that appealed to me. It is as if the poet spent his life waiting for a reason to live, without ever building a project worth living for. His poems reflect a superficial concern with superficial aspects of life, perhaps expressed in superior language (I can’t read the French, and found the translation uninspiring).
I read the final poem in the book, in which Baudelaire instructs the unappreciative reader to go to Hell. I didn’t appreciate it any more than the others.