Les Fleurs du Mal
The best known of the decadent poets and a delight to generations of self-obsessed undergraduates, Baudelaire still has plenty of power.
Reviewing a book of poetry is different to reviewing prose or non-fiction, I think, in the sense that there's much more sense of reviewing whether the poetry speaks to you in that particular moment. There was a time when I would have given Baudelaire five stars without question, for poems like "Meditation" or "Autumn song" alone - and those are still two of my favourites. Or perhaps he has to be read by candlelight or an open fire, and not on a sunny summer day. Nonetheless, as a poet of melancholy he still has no equal: an antidote to the constant pressure to be happy.
3/5. Finished 01 August 2014.
(Originally published on Goodreads.)