Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baudelaire's "Her Hair"

Although I was intrigued by his beautiful descriptions of the woman's hair, it was hard to ignore the poet's levels of objectivity. He made no attempt to write about his love for the woman, another human being. The romanticized language that Baudelaire employs illustrates his reverence for esthetically and sensually pleasing imagery. However, in "Her Hair,"  he shows no sign of human connections (which reminds me slightly of the Underground Man). Do you think the lack of reciprocation from the woman in "Her Hair" is a reflection of Baudelaire as a writer, or perhaps, as a man?


C-Sted said...

I like this poem more each time I read it. Baudelaire captures his feelings of passion and love in such an honest and pure way that I cannot help but enjoy it. Admittedly, the woman is nothing but a body with wonderful hair. However, Baudelaire uses these physical details as a source of poetic inspiration for the vivid, sense-driven descriptions that follow. The poem is all about sense; the smells and colors he experiences transcend simple perception give rise to memories and imagined scenes of beauty. I cannot blame him for taking this approach. I am reminded of e.e. cummings:

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

Blaine said...

I believe Baudlaire saw women as an intermediary towards true happiness. The speaker in "Her Hair" must either caress a woman's hair or breath her scent in order to reach his own paradise. All of the speaker's ecstacies are conjured up by Baudlaire's sensual desire for his lover. Therefore, Baudlaire not only treats woman with objectivity but also only focuses on her as a sensual object used to flare his ecstacies.

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