Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Sick Muse

I'm uninspired today. Can't think what to write about. I don't really feel snarky, and I can't get up any righteous rage about the idiot politicians and their earnest attempts to ruin the economy in the mad pursuit of re-election. Celebrities aren't doing anything interesting. My family is not providing its usual loopy inspiration.

In short, I'm stuck.

Fortunately, this blog's muse, Charles Baudelaire, has provided relief in the form of commiseration. Even moody French poets suffer from paucity of inspiration sometimes. Chuck wrote about his own drought of creative juices in the poem "La Muse Malade" - "The Sick Muse." And since I'm suffering from the same thing, I'm just going to nick his verse for today's post. Stealing is the sincerest form of flattery.

Doesn't he look flattered?
There are a lot of different translations of "The Sick Muse" floating around. I like this one best; you can check out some others, as well as the Frenchie original, here.
Take it away, Chuck.

La Muse malade

poor Muse, alas! what ails thee now? for thy
great hollow eyes with sights nocturnal burn,
and in thy changing pallor I descry
madness and frozen horror, turn by turn.

did rosy sprites or pale green succubi
pour love or panic from their dream-filled urn?
did the mad fist of despot nightmare try
to drown thee where the fiends of hell sojourn?

I would that thou wert always filled with health
and manly thoughts undaunted; that a wealth
of Christian blood were thine, which always flowed
in calm broad rhythms like a Grecian ode,

now echoing forth Apollo's golden strain,
and now great Pan, the lord of ripening grain.

— tr. Lewis Piaget Shanks, Flowers of Evil (New York: Ives Washburn, 1931)

funny gifs
And now I shall do my
"I hope my muse returns tomorrow" dance.

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