Books: Two Against One

FLOWERS OF EVIL—Charles Baudelaire; translated by George Dillon and Edna St. Vincent Millay—Harper ($2.75).

Translations are tricky and most poets, at least, would say that poetry is untranslatable. Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), whom the late Lytton Strachey called "the Swift of poetry," and who is still the most widely read poet in France, was a well-to-do bourgeois who despised his class, lived most of his life with a mulatto mistress, took opium and scandalized even Paris with his Fleurs du Mal, which combined polish, putrescence and pornography to an inspired degree. Since his death he has been manhandled by many a translator. Last...

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