Monday, January 16, 2012

Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe

Reading Baudelaire's poetry after reading the head notes, I definitely felt that Poe and Baudelaire had many similarities. As the head notes point out, they both have this beautiful fascination with death and decay. However, judging from the works of Poe that we've read over the years, such as The Fall of the House of Usher and The Cask of Amontillado, I think that Poe had a more grim outlook and more developed fascination with evil. On the other hand, I may be making a false comparison, since with more thought (as I am writing this blog) I think the head notes really meant a comparison on the two authors solely in poetry. For example, Poe's poem "The Bells" shows the procession of life to death much like Baudelaire's "Spleen LXXVIII." Does Baudelaire's poetry remind you of any other poets we've read?


Ravin S said...

I 100% agree with this Edgar Allen Poe analogy Shaina. They definitely go through a gruesome and often vomit-inducing process to get their point across. Like in Baudelaire's "A Carcass" which tries to point out that death is inevitable and the best way to face it is simply to accept it. But, often times the authors don't even have a point to make. I couldn't really find meaning behind "The Cask of Amontillado," even though I really liked that story.

alyb said...

I remember that in the "Fall of the House of Usher" the main theme was that after the house fell no one would remember the people that lived there, and essentially the family's legacy was over. I think this is much more grim the Baudelaire because in "A Carcass" he showed that someone can remain immortal through poetry and art.

sara pendleton said...

I feel like Poe's sound comes more from really slick rhyme and meter whereas Baudelaire, in the excepts we read, seems like he built on rhyme but played with form and sound so it's irregular, it's unexpected; I mean he uses it to create an effect ("A Carcass") but then again he breaks into free verse in the excerpts from Paris Spleen. Nothing that I've ever read by Poe is in free-verse and his stuff (at least the stuff I've read) seems more narrative and plays a lot less with heavily contrasting language (ie "adorable remorse" or even "paris spleen.") I think that in someways you can see that Poe was maybe an influence like thematically and whathaveyou (but I'd only say that because Norton said it) but Baudelaire's work is really a whole other animal. I think Baudelaire is really modern in the way he plays with language and links unexpected words and images, his work reminds me so much of Allen Ginsberg and maybe also the surrealist poets because of this intense and brilliant use of unexpected language. If anything I'd compare something like Annabelle Lee with that Baudelaire poem about the woman's hair. Oh, another difference, I don't think I'd call Baudelaire's work "Gothic" and Poe gets that label a lot it seems like.