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Society in Baudelaire Poetry

In his poems Charles Baudelaire reflects the society. He portrays it differently. For example, in the poem “The Albatross”, he states:

“Often to pass the time on board, the crew
will catch an albatross, one of those big birds
which nonchalently chaperone a ship
across the bitter fathoms of the sea.” These lines reflect the situation when people just want to do something, to act, and they do not know how. They see any fathom and accept it. Each person sees the society differently, and this poem, in my point of view, tries to describe the invisible limits that people have. But anyway, there is no desperation, because those who “rule” the society, they distract people from truth and real problems, according to “The Albatross”.

“Tied to the deck, this sovereign of space,

as if embarrassed by its clumsiness,

pitiably lets its great white wings

drag at its sides like a pair of unshipped oars.” In this statement Charles Baudelaire wants to show that people have an imaginary freedom, but in reality they were not free at all. People distract on different things, for example in this case it is Albatross, and they do not fully understand what to do. They hope for the best but there is always somebody who is telling what to do.

In another poem- “The Swan”, Charles Baudelaire described the society by individuals, by their actions and intentions, according to “The Swan”. “A swan that had escaped his cage, and walked On the dry pavement with his webby feet, And trailed his spotless plumage on the ground.”

As well, Charles Baudelaire indicates the difficult life of people and their desperation, hope for the better, different dreams and expectations.

“His nervous wings, he cried (his heart the while

Filled with a vision of his own fair lake):

“O water, when then wilt thou come in rain?

Lightning, when wilt thou glitter?””

Life is full of fatal myths and irony, suffering and injustice. The author describes Paris in the poem, as it may reflect the country or the Earth that has different issues that are unsolved, and the society suffers, but people can not do almost anything to change that.

“New palaces, and scaffoldings, and blocks,

And suburbs old, are symbols all to me

Whose memories are as heavy as a stone.” The current lines show that the memories of hard life do not let people go, they remind about all the challenges and difficulties and remind everything over and over again.

In the lines “Of all who lose that which they never find; Of all who drink of tears; all whom grey grief; Gives suck to as the kindly wolf gave suck; Of meagre orphans who like blossoms fade”, Charles Baudelaire shows the desperation, the difficult times and suffering of the society. Nothing is important anymore to the society and nothing good is coming in the near future, as stated in Charles Baudelaire Biography.

Unhappiness of people is described in the lines:

“And one old Memory like a crying horn

Sounds through the forest where my soul is lost . . .

I think of sailors on some isle forgotten;

Of captives; vanquished . . . and of many more.”

The lines of the poem “The Swan” show the suffering and unhappiness. They prove that there are no ways to change things for the better.

It can be said that Charles Baudelaire describes the current problems of society, he does it is a way that not many people can guess the real sense of the lines of his poems. There have been many issues that were hard to bear and there was a lot of injustice in the people’s lives. Although the country and the society as a whole faces not the best times, the author tries to highlight the pleasant moments and to support people in difficult time. Bright comparison with the nature and birds help the author to express his thoughts and ideas, his realism and optimism, according to “The Albatross”.

Also, the poet Charles Baudelaire might be saying about the notion of community and the larger human world in which he lives different truthful facts that tell about the community as a whole and the issues that have to be changed. It is intended that people have to be united in order to have courage and right decisions considering challenges. All in all, it can be said that in poems is reflected the real life of people, their feelings and thoughts, their unhappiness and also there are shown difficult times and situations without no way out. The author of the poems Charles Baudelaire uses birds to describe people, showing that people can be free, and they are forced to obey. There are many contradictive issues that appear in the society, and the desperate words of optimism show the importance of the author’s thoughts and his intentions when he wrote the poems.

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