Reversibility© – Black & White Painting – (Painting on the RIGHT)
Acrylic, Ink and Liquid Wax – Acrylic on paper 62cm x 97cm
Comes the Charming Evening – Poem by Charles Baudelaire
Delightful evening, partner of the crook,
Steals in, wolf-padded, like a complice: look:
Heaven, like a garret, closes to the day,
And Man, impatient, turns a beast of prey.
Sweet evening, loved by those whose arms can tell,
Without a lie, “Today we’ve laboured well:”
Sweet evening, it is she who brings relief
To men with souls devoured by one fierce grief,
Obstinate thinkers drowsy in the head,
And toil-bent workmen groping to their bed.
But insalubrious demons of the airs,
Like business people, wake to their affairs
And, flying, knock, like bats, on walls and shutters.
Now Prostitution lights up in the gutters
Across the glimmering jets the wind torments.
Like a huge ant-hive it unseals its vents.
On every side it weaves its hidden tracks
Like enemies preparing night-attacks.
It squirms within the City’s breast of mire,
A worm that steals the food that men desire.
One hears the kitchens hissing here and there,
Operas squealing, orchestras ablare.
Cheap tables d’hôte, where gaming lights the eyes,
Fill up with whores, and sharpers, their allies:
And thieves, whose office knows no truce nor rest,
Will shortly now start working, too, with zest,
Gently unhinging doors and forcing tills,
To live some days and buy their sweethearts frills.
Collect yourself, my soul, in this grave hour
And shut your ears against the din and stour.
It is the hour when sick men’s pains increase.
Death grips them by the throat, and soon they cease
Their destined task, to find the common pit.
The ward is filled with sighings. Out of it
Not all return the scented soup to taste,
Warm at the hearthside, by some loved-one placed.
But then how few among them can recall
Joys of the hearth, or ever lived at all!
— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)
Reversibility – Poem by Charles Baudelaire
Angel full of gaiety, do you know anguish,
Shame, remorse, sobbing, worldly cares,
And the vague terrors of those dreadful nights
That crush the heart like a piece of paper being crumpled?
Angel full of gaiety, do you know anguish?
Angel full of goodness, do you know hatred,
Fists clenched in the shadows and tears bitter as gall,
When Revenge beats out its infernal call to arms,
And makes itself captain of our faculties?
Angel full of goodness, do you know hatred?
Angel full of health, do you know the Fevers
That walk like exiles, dragging their feet
Alongside the high walls of the pale hospital,
Searching for a rare ray of sunlight, their lips quivering?
Angel full of health, do you know Fevers?
Angel full of beauty, do you know wrinkles
And the fear of growing old, and that hideous torment
Of reading the secret horror of devotion
In eyes from which our eyes long drank so avidly?
Angel full of beauty, do you know wrinkles?
Angel full of happiness, of joy, and of light,
The dying David would have asked for health
From the emanations of your enchanted body;
But from you I implore, angel, only your prayers,
Angel full of happiness, of joy, and of light!
Charles Baudelaire – Fleurs du mal / Flowers of Evil / Reversibility
“Les Fleurs du Mal” by Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows