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

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ANYWHERE OUT OF THE WORLD, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the
Last Line: "as long as it be out of the world!"

This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to
change his bed. This one would prefer to suffer before the stove, and that other
thinks that he would recover by the window.
It always seems to me that I will be better where I am not, and that
question of removal is one that I discuss incessantly with my soul.
"Tell me, my soul, poor chilled soul, what wouldst thou think of dwelling in
Lisbon? It must be warm there, and thou wouldst grow as lusty as a lizard. The
city is on the sea shore; they say that it is built of marble, and that the
inhabitants have such a dislike for anything green that they uproot all the
trees. There is a landscape after thy taste, a landscape composed of light and
minerals, and water to reflect them."
My soul makes no answer.
"Since thou lovest repose so well, combined with the sight of movement, wilt
thou come and dwell in Holland, that beatifying land? Mayhaps thou wouldst find
distraction in that country, whose image thou hast so often admired in the
museums. What wouldst think of Rotterdam, thou who lovest forests of masts, and
ships anchored before the steps of houses?"
My soul remains dumb.
"Thou wouldst smile, perhaps, on Batavia? We would find there the mind of
Europe joined to the beauty of the tropics."
Not a word. -- Is my soul dead?
"Hast thou, then, attained such a state of numbness that thou findest
pleasure only in thy sorrow? If so, let us fly to the lands that are the
analogues of Death. -- I have it, poor soul! I will pack my trunk for Torneo.
Let us go yet farther, to the extremity of the Baltic; yet farther from life, if
possible; let us settle at the Pole. There the sun slants upon the earth, and
the slow alternations of light and night suppress variety and increase monotony,
that half of Nothingness. There we shall be able to take long baths of darkness,
while, to divert us, the aurora borealis will send us from time to time its rosy
rays, like the reflection of the fireworks of Hell!"
At last my soul bursts forth, and wisely cries to me: "Anywhere! anywhere!
as long as it be out of the world!"

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