"Pour dire vrai, je crains que ta coquetterie
Ne trouve pas un prix digne de ses efforts;
Qui, de ces cœurs mortels, entend la raillerie?
Les charmes de l’horreur n’enivrent que les forts!"
To tell the truth, I think flirtation
Is not worth the effort.
Who of mortal heart hears the laughter?
The charm of horror only intoxicates the strong!
My friend posts Baudelaire on Facebook, and I do my best to work out a translation. We'd been discussing how throughout the world the Internet's cut and paste nature was spreading skepticism of theories that restrict life to one idea of human nature.
But with this poem, at least for me, was what we all want, the mysterious chance fatality of the right word at the right time. Here was the meaning of what I keep trying to understand, memories of myself watching my wife caught in her own world of cheating and money, invulnerable and unreachable, a great success on her own terms.
My contempt instantly invalidated by the return of love. Lost, continually lost, continually in love. Caught in repeated approach to what I would run away from. Horrible fascination. Horror, like despair, like disgust, a mad cycling of approach and retreat.
I had an abundance of love, an infinity of love. I certainly wasn't strong enough. Fascinated and lost. That's how it was.
A cut and paste self for a cut and paste world.