Charles Baudelaire’s La Voix/The Voice


The first edition of Les Fleurs  du mal with author’s notes

Henri Matisse – portrait de Baidelaire


La Voix

Mon berceau s’adossait à la bibliothèque,
Babel sombre, où roman, science, fabliau,
Tout, la cendre latine et la poussière grecque,
Se mêlaient. J’était haut comme un in-folio.
Deux voix me parlaient. L’une, insidieuse et ferme,
Disait: «La Terre est un gâteau plein de douceur;
Je puis (et ton plaisir serait alors sans terme!)
Te faire un appétit d’une égale grosseur.»
Et l’autre: «Viens! oh! viens voyager dans les rêves,
Au delà du possible, au delà du connu!»
Et celle-là chantait comme le vent des grèves,
Fantôme vagissant, on ne sait d’où venu,
Qui caresse l’oreille et cependant l’effraie.
Je te répondis: «Oui! douce voix!» C’est d’alors
Que date ce qu’on peut, hélas! nommer ma plaie
Et ma fatalité. Derrière les décors
De l’existence immense, au plus noir de l’abîme,
Je vois distinctement des mondes singuliers,
Et, de ma clairvoyance extatique victime,
Je traîne des serpents qui mordent mes souliers.
Et c’est depuis ce temps que, pareil aux prophètes,
J’aime si tendrement le désert et la mer;
Que je ris dans les deuils et pleure dans les fêtes,
Et trouve un goût suave au vin le plus amer;
Que je prends très souvent les faits pour des mensonges,
Et que, les yeux au ciel, je tombe dans des trous.
Mais la voix me console et dit: «Garde tes songes:
Les sages n’en ont pas d’aussi beaux que les fous!»

Charles Baudelaire


The Voice

The back of my crib was against the library,
That gloomy Babel, where novels, science, fabliaux,
Everything, Latin ashes and Greek dust,
Were mingled. I was no taller than a folio.
Two voices used to speak to me. One, sly and firm,
Would say: «The Earth’s a cake full of sweetness;
I can (and then there’d be no end to your pleasure!)
Give you an appetite of equal size.»
And the other: «Come travel in dreams
Beyond the possible, beyond the known!»
And it would sing like the wind on the strand,
That wailing ghost, one knows not whence it comes,
That caresses the ear and withal frightens it.
I answered you: «Yes! gentle voice!» It’s from that time
That dates what may be called alas! my wound
And my fatality. Behind the scenes
Of life’s vastness, in the abyss’ darkest corner
I see distinctly bizarre worlds,
And ecstatic victim of my own clairvoyance,
I drag along with me, serpents that bite my shoes.

And it’s since that time that, like the prophets,
I love so tenderly the desert and the sea;
That I laugh at funerals and weep at festivals
And find a pleasant taste in the most bitter wine;
That very often I take facts for lies
And that, my eyes raised heavenward, I fall in holes.
But the Voice consoles me and it says: «Keep your dreams;
Wise men do not have such beautiful ones as fools!»

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


Source and two more translations in english:


Τα κεραμίδια στάζουν….


Προσπερνάς γρήγορα, ίσως και αδιάφορα, τον πάγκο του βιβλιοπώλη γωνία Ερμού και Ευαγγελιστρίας. Κοντοστάθηκα, όμως, προχτές να ρίξω μια γρήγορη ματιά. Το βλέμμα καρφώθηκε πάνω στο βιβλίο. Το είχα ακούσει, δεν έτυχε να το διαβάσω. Δεν κοίταξα το οπισθόφυλλο, μα άνοιξα την πρώτη σελίδα, και διάβασα την πρώτη αράδα: Αν και μπήκε για τα καλά η άνοιξη, ο κόμπος δεν έλεγε να λυθεί, κρατούσε σταθερά το κέντρο του στήθους…. Πλήρωσα και το έβαλα στην τσάντα. Είναι άνοιξη σκέφτηκα….

Phenomenal Woman BY MAYA ANGELOU


An ispirational poem in honor of all women in this world who may not be  beautiful on the outside, compared to society’s standards,  but have an inner beauty that makes them glow in confidence and lead the way for us to follow.  International Women’s Day,  dedicated  to all women who tried to make a difference in this world.


Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Χωρίς τίτλο


Παγωνιά έξω. Μπήκα να ζεσταθώ. Δεν ξέρω αν το κίνητρο ήταν ο εσπρέσο ή ο «Ιούδας» του Άμος Οζ! Πιθανότατα και τα δύο.

Martin Luther King jr Day



On March 15, 1965, Archbishop Iakovos joined the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama to march on behalf of civil rights and to memorialize the slain Unitarian Universalist minister James Reeb. A controversial gesture at the time, Archbishop Iakovos nonetheless remained outspoken and resolute in his solidarity: «I came to this memorial service because I believe this is an appropriate occasion not only to dedicate myself as well as our Greek Orthodox communicants to the noble cause for which our friend, the Reverend James Reeb, gave his life; but also in order to show our willingness to continue this fight against prejudice, bias, and persecution.» He appears here with Dr. King on the cover of Life magazine.


Αστικό τοπίο


Ο χιονιάς πέρασε και μας έμεινε η παλέτα και το απέραντο της θάλασσας που «περικλείει όλα τα μυστήρια και ξέρει όλα τα παιχνίδια , είναι παμπάλαια και απίστευτα νέα….»

Lucian Freud! Born on this day in 1922.


Girl with a White Dog 1950-1
This picture shows the artist’s first wife when she was pregnant. The style of the painting has roots in the smooth and linear portraiture of the great nineteenth-century French neoclassical painter, Ingres. This, together with the particular psychological atmosphere of Freud’s early work, led the critic Herbert Read to make his celebrated remark that Freud was ‘the Ingres of Existentialism’.

The sense that Freud gives of human existence as essentially lonely, and spiritually if not physically painful, is something shared by his great contemporaries, Francis Bacon and the sculptor Alberto Giacometti. (Via Tate)