It's not everyday that I get to point to something about Baudelaire, but now the occasion is here.
Powell's Review-a-Day features a review from Rain Taxi for a new translation of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal by Keith Waldrop. And it's not your everyday translation: The form of Waldrop's translation is versets, "a form that hovers between poetry and prose," as the book's front flap advertises.
I have long been a fan of Baudelaire and for just as long I've wanted to write my own translations of his poetry (I've translated only around a dozen). Every translation I've read seems insufficient, relying on replicating the rhyme or rhythm The words, though, are the important part. It is what Baudelaire's saying that moves me.
I don't know if this translation will give me what I want in English. I'm afraid that Waldrop is after something stylistically that compromises Baudelaire's intent. I'm willing to give it a try, though.