Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ANYWHERE OUT OF THE WORLD, by CHARLES BAUDELAIRE

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ANYWHERE OUT OF THE WORLD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This life is a hospital where every patient longs desperately to change his bed
Last Line: "of this world!"

This life is a hospital where every patient longs desperately to change his
bed. This one would like to suffer opposite the stove, and that one is sure he
would get well if placed by the window.
Somehow I get the feeling that I should be better elsewhere than where I am,
and this question of moving is one which I am always discussing with my soul.
"Tell me, poor chilled soul, how would you like to live in Lisbon? It must be
warm there, and you could bask in the sun as blissfully as a lizard. The city
is on the coast. They say it is built of marble, and that its people have such a
horror of vegetation that they uproot all the trees. Here is a landscape just
suited to your taste: a landscape made of light and minerals, with water to
reflect them."
My soul makes no reply.
"Since you love tranquillity, and the sight of moving things, do you wish to
live in Holland, that heavenly land? Perhaps you will be happy in that land
whose image you have so often admired in museums. What do you say to Rotterdam,
you who love forests of masts, and ships that are moored at the doors of the
My soul remains silent.
"Perhaps you would prefer Batavia? There, moreover, we would find the wit of
Europe wedded to the beauty of the tropics. Not a word. Can my soul be dead?
"Have you sunk into so deep a stupor that you find satisfaction only in your
unhappiness? If such is the case, let us flee to those lands in the likeness of
Death. I know just the place, poor soul! We shall pack our bags for Torneo.
Let us go even farther, to the utmost limits of the Baltic; farther still, from
life, if possible; let us set up housekeeping at the Pole. There the sun all
but grazes the earth obliquely, and the slow alternations of light and night
make variety impossible and increase that monotony which is the other half of
nothingness. There we can bathe deep in darkness, while sometimes, for our
diversion, the Aurora Borealis will send up its rosy sheafs, like reflection of
the fireworks of Hell!"
Finally, my soul explodes, crying: "Anywhere! Anywhere! As long as it be out
of this world!"

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