"Epigraph for a Banned Book" by Charles Baudelaire
Translated by Richard Howard
Gentle reader, being - as you are -
a cautious man of uncorrupted tastes,
lay aside this disobliging work,
as orgiastic as it is abject.
Unless you've graduated from the school
of Satan (devil of a pedagogue!)
the poems will be Greek to you, or else
you'll set me down for one more raving fool.
If, however, your impassive eye
can plunge into the chasms on each page,
read on, my friend: you'll learn to love me yet.
Inquiring spirit, fellow-sufferer
in search, even here, of your own Paradise,
pity me . . . If not, to Hell with you!
Hell of a way to end a book, Charles! Respect=WON! A+
Poem also available HERE.