Charles Baudelaire

poems:

10

the albatross

Often, when bored, the sailors of the crew trap albatross, the great birds of the seas, mild travellers escorting in the blue ships gliding on the ocean’s mysteries. And when the sailors have them on the planks, hurt and distraught, these kings of all outdoors piteously let trail along their flanks their great white wings, dragging like useless oars. This voyager, how comical and weak! Once handsome, how unseemly and inept! One sailor pokes a pipe into his beak, another mocks the flier’s hobbled step. 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.

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