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Top quotes By Charles Baudelaire on love, romanticism, nature, time photography and other things.

90 Top Quotes By Charles Baudelaire, The Author Of Les Fleurs Du Mal

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet

Born On: April 9, 1821

Died On: August 31, 1867

Born In: Paris

Died At Age: 46

Charles Baudelaire was a poet, translator, writer and art critic from France; who lived in the 19th century and produced a body of work that is considered among the finest by literature enthusiasts. Baudelaire is regarded as a great moderniser of the French literature and his biggest innovation was the introduction of the ‘prose-poetry’. The ‘prose-poetry’ style in poems went on to inspire many of the leading French poets like Stephane Malarme and Paul Verlaine among others. The book of poetry titled ‘The Flowers of Evil’ published in 1857 remains his most well-known work and is widely regarded as his greatest work. Baudelaire was also an art critic of great standing in the Parisian art press and in addition to that he was also a popular essayist. Among his works of translation; the most famous is the translated version of the works of American short story writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe. Among his other contributions to the world of French literature is the word ‘modernity’ that he coined in order to describe the life of people in a large city. Baudelaire was a man of great depth and intellect and his life and work are also the sources of great quotes which can inspire people even today. Here are some of the selected ones. 

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Always be a poet, even in prose.

Charles Baudelaire

One should always be drunk. That's all that matters...But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.

Charles Baudelaire

Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recaptured at will.

Charles Baudelaire

A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.

Charles Baudelaire

Remembering is only a new form of suffering.

Charles Baudelaire

The beautiful is always bizarre.

Charles Baudelaire

If the word doesn't exist, invent it; but first be sure it doesn't exist.

Charles Baudelaire

What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters.

Charles Baudelaire

I have cultivated my hysteria with pleasure and terror.

Charles Baudelaire

There are women who inspire you with the desire to conquer them and to take your pleasure of them; but this one fills you only with the desire to die slowly beneath her gaze.

Charles Baudelaire

Strangeness is a necessary ingredient in beauty.

Charles Baudelaire

Life has but one true charm: the charm of the game. But what if we’re indifferent to whether we win or lose?

Charles Baudelaire

Extract the eternal from the ephemeral.

Charles Baudelaire

What can an eternity of damnation matter to someone who has felt, if only for a second, the infinity of delight?

Charles Baudelaire

The Devil pulls the strings which make us dance; We find delight in the most loathsome things; Some furtherance of Hell each new day brings, And yet we feel no horror in that rank advance.

Charles Baudelaire

I am a cemetery by the moon unblessed.

Charles Baudelaire

I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust.

Charles Baudelaire

A multitude of small delights constitute happiness

Charles Baudelaire

Evil is committed without effort, naturally, fatally; goodness is always the product of some art.

Charles Baudelaire

Even when she walks one would believe that she dances.

Charles Baudelaire

You walk on corpses, beauty, undismayed.

Charles Baudelaire

He who looks through an open window sees fewer things than he who looks through a closed window.

Charles Baudelaire

The Poet is a kinsman in the clouds Who scoffs at archers, loves a stormy day; But on the ground, among the hooting crowds, He cannot walk, his wings are in the way.

Charles Baudelaire

My heart is lost; the beasts have eaten it.

Charles Baudelaire

I have felt the wind on the wing of madness.

Charles Baudelaire

I set out to discover the why of it, and to transform my pleasure into knowledge.

Charles Baudelaire

As a small child, I felt in my heart two contradictory feelings, the horror of life and the ecstasy of life.

Charles Baudelaire

I should like the fields tinged with red, the rivers yellow and the trees painted blue. Nature has no imagination.

Charles Baudelaire

Let us beware of common folk, common sense, sentiment, inspiration, and the obvious.

Charles Baudelaire

The insatiable thirst for everything which lies beyond, & which life reveals is the most living proof of our immortality.

Charles Baudelaire

But the true voyagers are only those who leave Just to be leaving; hearts light, like balloons, They never turn aside from their fatality And without knowing why they always say: "Let's go!

Charles Baudelaire

To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.

Charles Baudelaire

It is the hour to be drunken! To escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk. On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.

Charles Baudelaire

Inspiration comes of working every day.

Charles Baudelaire

It always seems to me that I should feel well in the place where I am not.

Charles Baudelaire

An oasis of horror in a desert of boredom.

Charles Baudelaire

Forest, I fear you! In my ruined heart your roaring wakens the same agony as in cathedrals when the organ moans and from the depths I hear that I am damned.

Charles Baudelaire

Through the Unknown, we'll find the New

Charles Baudelaire

Unable to suppress love, the Church wanted at least to disinfect it, and it created marriage.

Charles Baudelaire

All which is beautiful and noble is the result of reason and calculation.

Charles Baudelaire

Nothing is as tedious as the limping days, When snowdrifts yearly cover all the ways, And ennui, sour fruit of incurious gloom, Assumes control of fate’s immortal loom

Charles Baudelaire

La, tout n’est qu’ordre et beaut Luxe, calme et volupt There, there is nothing else but grace and measure, Richness, quietness, and pleasure.

Charles Baudelaire

Passion I hate, and spirit does me wrong. Let us love gently.

Charles Baudelaire

The Beautiful is always strange.

Charles Baudelaire

I can barely conceive of a type of beauty in which there is no Melancholy.

Charles Baudelaire

So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, be endlessly drunk.

Charles Baudelaire

Any healthy man can go without food for two days--but not without poetry.

Charles Baudelaire

And, drunk with my own madness, I shouted at him furiously, "Make life beautiful! Make life beautiful!

Charles Baudelaire

The Devil's hand directs our every move - / the things we loathed become the things we love

Charles Baudelaire

Music fathoms the sky.

Charles Baudelaire

It is at despair at not being able to be noble and beautiful by natural means that we have made up our faces so strangely.

Charles Baudelaire

Hypocrite reader -- my fellow -- my brother!

Charles Baudelaire

We revel in the laxness of the path we take.

Charles Baudelaire

In our corruption we perceive beauties unrevealed to ancient times.

Charles Baudelaire

Above my cradle loomed the bookcase where/ Latin ashes and the dust of Greece/ mingled with novels, history, and verse/ in one dark Babel. I was folio-high/ when I first heard the voices.

Charles Baudelaire

And yet to wine, to opium even, I prefer the elixir of your lips on which love flaunts itself; and in the wasteland of desire your eyes afford the wells to slake my thirst.

Charles Baudelaire

I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws.

Charles Baudelaire

The study of beauty is a duel in which the artist cries out in terror before being vanquished.

Charles Baudelaire

I can barely conceive a type of beauty in which there is no melancholy.

Charles Baudelaire

I sit in the sky like a sphinx misunderstood; My heart of snow is wed to the whiteness of swans; I hate the movement that displaces the rigid lines, With lips untaught neither tears nor laughter do I know.

Charles Baudelaire

How little remains of the man I once was, save the memory of him! But remembering is only a new form of suffering.

Charles Baudelaire

Nature is a temple, where the living Columns sometimes breathe confusing speech; Man walks within these groves of symbols, each Of which regards him as a kindred thing.

Charles Baudelaire

In order not to feel time's horrid fardel bruise your shoulders, grinding you into the earth, get drunk and stay that way. On what? On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever. But get drunk!

Charles Baudelaire

The immense appetite we have for biography comes from a deep-seated sense of equality.

Charles Baudelaire

Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams.

Charles Baudelaire

Oh, Creator! Can monsters exist in the sight of him who alone knows how they were invented, how they invented themselves, and how they might not have invented themselves?

Charles Baudelaire

If rape or arson, poison or the knife Has wove no pleasing patterns in the stuff Of this drab canvas we accept as life - It is because we are not bold enough!

Charles Baudelaire

With wine, poetry, or virtue as you choose. But get drunk.

Charles Baudelaire

Each day we take another step to hell, Descending through the stench, unhorrified

Charles Baudelaire

Abolishers of the soul (materialists) are necessarily abolishers of hell, they, certainly, are interested. At all events, they are people who fear to live again--lazy people.

Charles Baudelaire

Go then, a starveling girl With no perfume or pearls, Only your nudity O my beauty!

Charles Baudelaire

But what does it matter what reality is outside myself, so long as it has helped me to live, to feel that I am, and what I am?

Charles Baudelaire

Flesh is willing, but the Soul requires Sisyphean patience for its song, Time, Hippocrates remarked, is short and Art is long.

Charles Baudelaire

I know that pain is the one nobility / upon which Hell itself cannot encroach

Charles Baudelaire

I am but little disposed to put things in writing. One almost always regrets doing so.

Charles Baudelaire

Genius is childhood recovered at will.

Charles Baudelaire

It's the devil who pulls the strings that make us dance

Charles Baudelaire

The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.

Charles Baudelaire

Nations, like families, have great men only in spite of themselves.

Charles Baudelaire

Ant swarming City City full of dreams Where in broad day the specter tugs your sleeve

Charles Baudelaire

The child, in love with prints and maps, Holds the whole world in his vast appetite. How large the earth is under the lamplight! But in the eyes of memory, how the world is cramped!

Charles Baudelaire

Nature is a temple in which living columns sometimes emit confused words. Man approaches it through forests of symbols, which observe him with familiar glances.

Charles Baudelaire

Fruit free of any bruises, not yet broken open, / With flesh so firm and smooth, it cried out to be eaten!

Charles Baudelaire

Nature is a word, an allegory, a mold, an embossing, if you will.

Charles Baudelaire

And over your unconsecrated head you'll hear the howling wolves lament their fate and yours the livelong year;

Charles Baudelaire

The old Paris is no more (the form of a city changes faster, alas! than a mortal's heart).

Charles Baudelaire

Wandering aimlessly, broken by my thoughts, Which slowly sharpened daggers at my heart

Charles Baudelaire

Scent, sound or sight, beneficent, malign – Who cares if you’re a blessing or a curse, So long as you bring light,

Charles Baudelaire