Thursday, October 14, 2010

Image in the Flaneur's Rearview Mirror

Amid the deafening traffic of the town,
Tall, slender, in deep mourning, with majesty,
A woman passed, raising, with dignity
In her poised hand, the flounces of her gown;

Graceful, noble, with a statue's form.
And I drank, trembling as a madman thrills,
From her eyes, ashen sky where brooded storm,
The softness that fascinates, the pleasure that kills.

A flash . . . then night!--O lovely fugitive,
I am suddenly reborn from your swift glance;
Shall I never see you till eternity?

Somewhere, far off! Too late! never, perchance!
Neither knows where the other goes or lives;
We might have loved, and you knew this might be!

(Baudelaire 118)


  1. This is such a beautiful poem.

    I'm sure you know the story of Parsifal, don't you Joe?

  2. Actually no...

    I never actually read Parsifal or the Rheingold saga.

  3. My introduction to Parsifal came through myths and archetypes. I haven't read the original story either.

    Anyway, Parsifal has his Blanche Fleur, which people correlate to a flesh and blood woman, but she represents his feminine nature, which he must swear to neither seduce nor be seduced by.
    That's all fine and good, but trouble begins when men project their Blanche Fleur onto a real woman, expecting her to fulfill what only he can do for himself. And I mean trouble with a big T! ;-)

  4. but trouble begins when men project their Blanche Fleur onto a real woman...

    lol! Isn't THAT what today's women demand under the banner of "equality"?

    We're damned if we do, damned if we don't.

  5. oops.
    It's the difference between saying...

  6. It's the difference is saying "I want you to BE with me" vs. "I want you to be FOR me".


  7. Okay, I get it. I thought you meant that we wanted our women to be held to a standard (lower) than we would hold ourselves to.