Top 86 Charles Baudelaire Quotes

What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters.


Life has but one true charm: the charm of the game. But what if we’re indifferent to whether we win or lose?


And, drunk with my own madness, I shouted at him furiously, “Make life beautiful! Make life beautiful!


L’étude du beau est un duel où l’artiste crie de frayeur avant d’être vaincu.


On peut chercher dans Dieu le complice et l’ami qui manquent toujours. Dieu est l’éternel confident dans cette tragédie dont chacun est le héros.


The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”—Charles Baudelaire “The second greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he is the good guy”—Ken Ammi


One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.


Any healthy man can go without food for two days–but not without poetry.


Il était tard; ainsi qu’une médaille neuveLa pleine lune s’étalait,Et la solennité de la nuit, comme un fleuveSur Paris dormant ruisselait.


If rape or arson, poison or the knifeHas wove no pleasing patterns in the stuffOf this drab canvas we accept as life -It is because we are not bold enough!


If the word doesn’t exist, invent it; but first be sure it doesn’t exist.


I set out to discover the why of it, and to transform my pleasure into knowledge.


A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.


That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal; from which it follows that irregularity—that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment, are an essential part and characteristic of beauty.


I sit in the sky like a sphinx misunderstood; My heart of snow is wed to the whiteness of swans; I hate the movement that displaces the rigid lines, With lips untaught neither tears nor laughter do I know.


The study of beauty is a duel in which the artist cries out in terror before being vanquished.


How convenient it is to declare that everything is totally ugly within the habit of the époque, rather than applying oneself to extract from it the dark and cryptic beauty, however faint and invisible it is.


Abolishers of the soul (materialists) are necessarily abolishers of hell, they, certainly, are interested. At all events, they are people who fear to live again–lazy people.


Evil is committed without effort, naturally, fatally; goodness is always the product of some art.


The immense appetite we have for biography comes from a deep-seated sense of equality.


I should like the fields tinged with red, the rivers yellow and the trees painted blue. Nature has no imagination.


Nature is a temple in which living columns sometimes emit confused words. Man approaches it through forests of symbols, which observe him with familiar glances.


Nature is a word, an allegory, a mold, an embossing, if you will.


Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams.


Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will, childhood equipped now with man’s physical means to express itself, and with the analytical mind that enables it to bring order into the sum of experience, involuntarily amassed.


I walk alone, absorbed in my fantastic play, — Fencing with rhymes, which, parrying nimbly, back away; Tripping on words, as on rough paving in the street, Or bumping into verses I long had dreamed to meet.


Imagination is the queen of truth, and possibility is one of the regions of truth. She is positively akin to infinity.


To be away from home and yet find oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet remain hidden from the world.


The mixture of the grotesque and the tragic is agreeable to the spirit, as are discords to the jaded ear.


Thanks be to God, Who gives us sufferingas sacred remedy for all our sins,that best and purest essence which preparesthe strong in spirit for divine delights!


The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.


To be wicked is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that you are; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil from stupidity.


The Devil pulls the strings which make us dance;We find delight in the most loathsome things;Some furtherance of Hell each new day brings,And yet we feel no horror in that rank advance.


To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.


The saddest thing is that every love has an unhappy ending, and all the more unhappy in proportion to how divinely it began, with what wings it first took flight.


Il me semble que je serais toujours bien la ou je ne suis pas.It seems to me that I will always be happy in the place where I am not.


Flesh is willing, but the Soul requiresSisyphean patience for its song,Time, Hippocrates remarked, is shortand Art is long.


And yetto wine, to opium even, I preferthe elixir of your lips on which love flaunts itself;and in the wasteland of desireyour eyes afford the wells to slake my thirst.


He who looks through an open window sees fewer things than he who looks through a closed window.


As a small child, I felt in my heart two contradictory feelings, the horror of life and the ecstasy of life.


Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recaptured at will.


It is at despair at not being able to be noble and beautiful by natural means that we have made up our faces so strangely.


Nothing is as tedious as the limping days,When snowdrifts yearly cover all the ways,And ennui, sour fruit of incurious gloom,Assumes control of fate’s immortal loom


Isn’t it true that a pleasant house makes winter more poetic, and doesn’t winter add to the poetry of a house?


Ant swarming CityCity full of dreamsWhere in broad day the specter tugs your sleeve


He who doesn’t accept the conditions of life sells his soul.


What is irritating about love is that it is a crime that requires an accomplice.


Everything considered work is less boring than amusing oneself.


In putting off what one has to do one runs the risk of never being able to do it.


A multitude of small delights constitute happiness.


We love women in proportion to their degree of strangeness to us.


Time is an avid gambler who has no need to cheat to win every time.


Life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed by the desire of changing his bed. One would prefer to suffer near the fire and another is certain he would get well if he were by the window.


The man who says his prayers in the evening is a captain posting his sentries. After that he can sleep.


There is no such thing as a long piece of work except one that you dare not start.


Everything considered work is less boring than amusing oneself.


As a remedy against all ills – poverty sickness and melanchol – only one thing is absolutely necessary: a liking for work.


How many years of fatigue and punishment it takes to learn the simple truth that work that disagreeable thing is the only way of not suffering in life or at all events of suffering less.


I have cultivated my hysteria with joy and terror.


Oh, Creator! Can monsters exist in the sight of him who alone knows how they were invented, how they invented themselves, and how they might not have invented themselves?


The old Paris is no more (the form of a city changes faster, alas! than a mortal’s heart).


For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation.


There exist only three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create.


It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.


There are moments of existence when time and space are more profound, and the awareness of existence is immensely heightened.


Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.


We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and the sensation of Time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose.


Nature… is nothing but the inner voice of self-interest.


The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.


There are as many kinds of beauty as there are habitual ways of seeking happiness.


Even if it were proven that God didn’t exist, Religion would still be Saintly and Divine.


It is the hour to be drunken! to escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk. On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.


Those men get along best with women who can get along best without them.


I can barely conceive of a type of beauty in which there is no Melancholy.


The study of beauty is a duel in which the artist cries with terror before being defeated.


An artist is an artist only because of his exquisite sense of beauty, a sense which shows him intoxicating pleasures, but which at the same time implies and contains an equally exquisite sense of all deformities and all disproportion.


Even in the centuries which appear to us to be the most monstrous and foolish, the immortal appetite for beauty has always found satisfaction.


Whether you come from heaven or hell, what does it matter, O Beauty!


To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art – that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts.


Modernity is the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, which make up one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable. This transitory fugitive element, which is constantly changing, must not be despised or neglected.


Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable.


Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art.


It is time to get drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk without stopping! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.


Any healthy man can go without food for two days – but not without poetry.


Poetry and progress are like two ambitious men who hate one another with an instinctive hatred, and when they meet upon the same road, one of them has to give place.


France is not poetic; she even feels, in fact, a congenital horror of poetry. Among the writers who use verse, those whom she will always prefer are the most prosaic.



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