There was a lunar eclipse last night, you could see in Europe and Africa essentially. From about 9:30 pm onwards, the moon progressively took an unusual coppery colour, when every first light and sunset in the world focused on its surface.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters the Earth's shadow. One would think it looks darker, more greyish than usual. Yet, on the contrary, it turns red, because the atmosphere of the Earth of the Sun, and changes its colour.

The partial eclipse reached its peak shortly before midnight. Then the moon progressively returned to its usual paleness. It was time for me to go to bed, and read poetry by Charles Baudelaire again.


Tristesses de la lune
(Charles Baudelaire)

Tristesses de la lune

Ce soir, la lune rêve avec plus de paresse ;
Ainsi qu'une beauté, sur de nombreux coussins,
Qui d'une main distraite et légère caresse
Avant de s'endormir le contour de ses seins,

Sur le dos satiné des molles avalanches,
Mourante, elle se livre aux longues pâmoisons,
Et promène ses yeux sur les visions blanches
Qui montent dans l'azur comme des floraisons.

Quand parfois sur ce globe, en sa langueur oisive,
Elle laisse filer une larme furtive,
Un poète pieux, ennemi du sommeil,

Dans le creux de sa main prend cette larme pâle,
Aux reflets irisés comme un fragment d'opale,
Et la met dans son coeur loin des yeux du soleil.

Charles Baudelaire

Sorrow of the Moon

More drowsy dreams the moon tonight. She rests
Like a proud beauty on heaped cushions pressing,
With light and absent-minded touch caressing,
Before she sleeps, the contour of her breasts.

On satin-shimmering, downy avalanches
She dies from swoon to swoon in languid change,
And lets her eyes on snowy visions range
That in the azure rise like flowering branches.

When sometimes to this earth her languor calm
Lets streak a stealthy tear, a pious poet,
The enemy of sleep, in his cupped palm,

Takes this pale tear, of liquid opal spun
With rainbow lights, deep in his heart to stow it
Far from the staring eyeballs of the Sun.

Transl. Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire
(New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)

3 comment(s):

    So beautiful. I was driving home from visiting my sons who are visiting their father (ouf), and the full moon shone the whole way. I would catch it's reflections in the rear windows of the cars driving in front of me.



    And you read that poem beautifully...


    Thank you, thank you. I tried to make up for my not doing karaoke!


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