charles-baudelaire-1

LYRIC AND POETRY
Lesson no 4

In lesson 3 we started to talk about metamorphoses, and the importance
of visualisation. The pictures used in the poem have often a direct understanding
of the pictures created in the mind of the reader.

More of visualisation is connected to our senses. We call them for
Mental pictures. It is normal to separate those categories into 7 .
The first one is Auditive pictures (belonging to our hearing). The second and third one Olfactory pictures( belonging to smelling, and odour). Tactile pictures(belonging to touching and feeling of for example temperatures /heat, coldness/) and Organic pictures belonging to the living part of life. Finally the
Kinetic pictures dealing with our body language (movements)

Those categories are partly hiding the fact that the language of pictures is an
intervention of the speaking language and cannot always been visualised as
anticipated pictures.
“This new creation” shows an imaginable universe. An immense combination
of the senses to create a world of pictures can be used.
Example: A peach-dress give us both colour, taste, smell, and perhaps also a tactile experience.
“The hot benches of the eyes” distort a visualised expression into a mental picture and ask the reader to think of ( sitting down on a warm bench)–
and at the same time it is an eye. On this bench “I am in the back of the sun”
and again, an association to warmth in combination with hand , skin, palm and back.

All those metamorphosis are closer to another technique in combining
unexpected experiences of the senses, called Synaesthesia or an analogy of
the senses.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) died only 46 years old, wrote a very famous programme for this in the sonnet “Correspondences” (1857) which often is used in modernistic poetry.
Here follows his poem from the Poetry collection Fleurs du Mal .
(Flowers of Evil.)

Correspondances
La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
— Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.
— Charles Baudelaire
Correspondences
Nature is a temple in which living pillars
Sometimes give voice to confused words;
Man passes there through forests of symbols
Which look at him with understanding eyes.
Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance
In a deep and tenebrous unity,
Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day,
Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond.
There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children,
Sweet as oboes, green as meadows
— And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant,
With power to expand into infinity,
Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin,
That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses.
— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)With
With this poem and much to learn I suggest that we finish this lesson , although
difficult enough to take into our minds and to our perception.
©kerstin centervall