Sample Poems

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE

Albatross

If only to amuse themselves, the crew
will catch an albatross, the indolent
companion of the ship that through
a bitter ocean sails with vague intent.

Hardly have they pinned him to the planks
before this regal bird, disgraced and mortified,
allows the heavy wings along his flanks
to trail like broken oars on either side.

This voyager becomes confused and weak
and clumsy with the crewmen standing by.
One sailor jabs his pipe into the beak,
then limps to mock this cripple who would fly.

The poet too is like this prince of birds,
who haunted squalls and laughed at worldly things,
now exiled on an earth of mocking words
and fastened to the ground with giant wings.

Translation by Robert Hudson

 

[ROBERT HUDSON is senior editor-at-large for Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins. He has co-written three books, most recently Companions for the Soul with his wife, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, and Beyond Belief with Duane W.H. Arnold. His work has appeared in Blue Unicorn, Christianity Today, West Hills Review, and many other journals.]

 

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