The Poem of Hashish (The Complete Essay translated by Aleister Crowley)
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The Poem of Hashish (1821) by Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821 – 1867) was first published in 1850. This is the Aleister Crowley translation of 1895. Charles Baudelaire was an early precursor to the French symbolist movement of the late nineteenth century. The literary movement was a reaction to realism and placed a lot of emphasis on the power of dreams and the imagination as tools for communicating ideals through symbols. Synaesthesia was one the great tools of the symbolists and Baudelaire wrote of hashish: “By graduations, external objects assume unique appearances in the endless combining and transfiguring of forms. Ideas are distorted; perceptions are confused. Sounds are clothed in colors and colors in music.” Baudelaire utilised the dream as the symbolic ground of the drug experience.
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century. Baudelaire's highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé among many others. He is credited with coining the term “modernity” to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience.