Fog, Rain — an antonymic adaptation

Fog, Rain
by Charles Baudelaire, trans. Keith Waldrop

O ends of autumn, winter, springtime, steeped in slush, opiate of seasons! I love and honor you for thus enveloping my heart and brain in a shroud of vapor and a vague grave.

On this great plain where a cold wind from the south plays games, where through long nights the weathervane rasps, my soul more easily than at spring thaw opens its broad raven wings.

To a heart brimming with funeral fare, long laden with hoar-frost–you pallid seasons who rule our clime–nothing is sweeter than

the changeless sight of your pale shadows.–Except, on moonless nights, two by two, to put pain to sleep in a hazardous bed.

Fog, Rain — an antonymic adaptation

A mere declension of sun orbits its way into my waiting game,
something I play when I have gone without it
just to help me fluoresce a little more steady.

But what I don’t know as an end to that confectionary dream
still isn’t a reason for faith, and what it was that cast a shadow
cross my face must have shaken you too, at least a little:

a standard reaction to the miscellany hobbling forth from the ruins
of their own interiors, people of the moth-eaten cardigan,
themselves fluorescing so violently as if I could not

grovel at their feet in worship, scattering plumage I hope to be
unmarketable before going back to whatever it was I was doing,
unattended to by the memory of it all, to my industry’s relief.


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