Sexy Poetry: Baudelaire’s Hot Haunting by a Naughty Ghost

Charles Baudelaire was the original hipster goth-kid bad-boy romantic (yes, all of those). His provocative 1857 collection of poems Fluers du mal (Flowers of Evil) covered all the good stuff: eroticism, decadence, lesbianism, lost innocence, urban life, wine, even fashion and makeup! Basically, when you want to party, leave Henry David Thoreau’s mid-19th-century nature-loving to the birds, and hook up with Baudelaire in Paris. (You know you’re doing something so wrong it’s right when you outrage and offend the delicate sensibilities of much of the mainstream to the point where elements of your work are outright banned.)

For this spooky time of year, what better than Baudelaire’s “The Ghost,” a hot haunting of a poem. You can find the original in French here, along with a selection of various English translations. Below is our favorite:

The Ghost

41kGup0ZnzL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Like angels that have monster eyes,
Over your bedside I shall rise,
Gliding towards you silently
Across night’s black immensity.
O darksome beauty, you shall swoon
At kisses colder than the moon
And fondlings like a snake’s who coils
Sinuous round the grave he soils.

When livid morning breaks apace,
You shall find but an empty place,
Cold until night, and bleak, and drear:
As others do by tenderness,
So would I rule your youthfulness
By harsh immensities of fear.

— Jacques LeClercq, Flowers of Evil (Mt Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1958)

Now you know how to have sex with a ghost. Now learn…
How to Have Sex with a Vampire