Book: The Flowers of Evil
“Glory and praise to you, O Satan, in the heights of Heaven where you reigned and in the depths of Hell where vanquished you dream in silence.”
French Modernist poet Charles Baudelaire engendered scandal and scorn with this collection of subversive poems, and both Baudelaire and his publisher were put on trial and convicted for “insult to public decency.”
His decadent verses, which heaped praise on the sinister and the morbid while reserving contempt for the contemporary and bourgeois, climaxing with his remarkable and compassionate “Litanies of Satan,” which addresses the devil as a patron of the downcast and the unlucky, being an downcast exile himself.
Decadent Frenchman that he was, Baudelaire played pretty fast and loose with some of his terms, like when he considers the “pleasant delights” of “rape, poison, dagger, and fire.”
The fact that he’s considering the alleged pleasantries of being the VICTIM of such acts tells us that he’s speaking tongue in cheek. Still, actual victims of such things may find some of the poems more jarring than the were intended.