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This poem is taken from PN Review 67, Volume 15 Number 5, May - June 1989.

Baudelaire Translations Richard Francis

The Albatross
(After: L'Albatros)

Albatross, your skies are huger even than your seas
Clouds rise and plummet endlessly
You cope with tempests on an abstract scale

You can discriminate among shades of grey
Explore the pressure of their thin surfaces
Accepting each degree of cold

How your wings understand the air
Stroke like a lover each contour of the wind
Climb those soft mountains as you do in dreams.

When brought to ship your long sails drag
Your legs that pedal sky are staggered by the deck,
Not built to grip less than totality.

(After: Spleen, Je suis comme le roi...)

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