Sex and death, rebellion, corruption — the themes of Charles Baudelaire's sensual poems sparked outrage upon their 1857 debut. His masterpiece, Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du Mal), was dismissed as decadent and obscene and banned in France for nearly a century. Although Baudelaire died in obscurity, today he is recognized as one of the nineteenth century's greatest and most influential poets, whose works were ahead of their time.
This unique collection captures the fevered spirit of the transition from Romanticism to Modernism with authoritative interpretations of fifty-one poems from Flowers of Evil. In addition, fourteen prose poems from the posthumously published Paris Spleen offer poignant reflections on the city and its humbler denizens. Noted scholar Wallace Fowlie provides definitive translations of these verses.