Posted on November 15, 2019 at 7:26 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
An extra stanza of Charles Baudelaire’s erotic poem “The Jewels” has been made public for the first time in more than 150 years.
The Guardian reports that the French poet had handwritten a few extra lines at the end of the poem in a friend's copy of Les Fleurs du Mal, which is headed to auction on November 22.
Auctioneers told the Guardian that a Baudelaire expert had tried and failed to persuade previous owners to share this (translated) verse in 1928:
And I was full then of this Truth:
That the greatest treasure reserved by God for the Genius
Is to know profoundly earthly Beauty
So that from there can spring forth Rhythm and harmony.
“The Jewels” was among six Baudelaire poems that a French court banned in 1857; the poet and his publisher were also, at that time, prosecuted for offense to public decency.
If you’d like to bid on this special copy of Les Fleurs du Mal, you’ll need to have €60,000 to €80,000 ($66,000 to $88,000) at the ready.
Not the case? You can at least see the handwritten lines in the Guardian.
Categories: Today in Books