Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal, which in successive editions contained all of his published poems, has opened new vistas for man's imagination and quickened the sensibilities of poets everywhere.
The greatest French poet of the 19th century, Baudelaire was also the first truly modem poet, and his direct and indirect influence on the literature of our time has been immeasurable.
Flowers of Evil: A Selection contains 53 poems which the editors feel best represent the total work and which, in their opinion, have been most successfully rendered into English. The French texts as established by Yves Gérard Le Dantec for the Pléiade edition are printed en face. Included are Baudelaire's "Three Drafts of a Preface" and brief notes on the nineteen translators whose work is represented.
Charles Pierre Baudelaire was the poet of the modern metropolis and was one of the first great French precursors of the symbolists. He has also been recognized as one of the 19th century's finest art critics and translators.