Baudelaire and the Poetry of Prose


Baudelaire intended the Petits Poèmes en prose to be a companion volume Les Fleurs du mal, but their many differences point to a discrepancy between intention and achievement and raise the problem of defining the poetic element in the prose poems. Two criteria emerge. The first concerns the intensity of effect of some pieces that can be seen as a kind of elliptic allegory. The second, developed at greater length, equates the poetic with the creation of a violent and surreal world, and defines the lyricism of the prose poems as an "ivresse de l'absurde" and an ecstasis of the irrational. (JAH)

Hiddleston, James A
Release Year:
1983-1984 Fall-Winter; 12(1-2): 124-37.