Charles Baudelaire

The albatross

(poem from: The flowers of evil)




The albatross is a poem by Charles Baudelaire, published in the famous collection book of the great poet: The Flowers of Evil.

The motivation and conclusion of the poem “The albatross” is indicated by Charles Baudelaire in the last part: the poet resembles the albatross because he is often mocked or denigrated for his particular way of seeing, living and describing the world.




Charles Baudelaire

The albatross

(from: The flowers of evil)




Often, to amuse themselves, the men of a crew

Catch albatrosses, those vast sea birds

That indolently follow a ship

As it glides over the deep, briny sea.



Scarcely have they placed them on the deck

Than these kings of the sky, clumsy, ashamed,

Pathetically let their great white wings

Drag beside them like oars.



That winged voyager, how weak and gauche he is,

So beautiful before, now comic and ugly!

One man worries his beak with a stubby clay pipe;

Another limps, mimics the cripple who once flew!



The poet resembles this prince of cloud and sky

Who frequents the tempest and laughs at the bowman;

When exiled on the earth, the butt of hoots and jeers,

His giant wings prevent him from walking.



Charles Baudelaire – The Albatross
(from: The Flowers of Evil)




Charles Baudelaire

Description of the poem

The albatross



The albatross is the second poem of the collection of “The Flowers of Evil” (first edition 1857), is located in the section entitled “Spleen et Idéal“, the first of the six sections in which the work The Flowers of Evil is divided.

The albatross is a poem by Charles Baudelaire composed of quatrains with verses in alternate rhymes.
Obviously the metric composition of the quatrains of the poetry “The albatross” by Charles Baudelaire is best appreciated in the original French text, which you can find in the section with all the texts of the stories and poems in French of our site, here.



Audio book, audio poem: The albatross – A poem by Charles Baudelaire.





Charles Baudelaire

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