Analysis Of The Poem ' Duel ' By Charles Baudelaire

919 Words Oct 31st, 2014 4 Pages
The Duel Understanding poetry can be difficult because poems can seem to have many different meanings but the author only means to have one main meaning. “Duellum” written by Charles Baudelaire is a French poem written in the mid 1800’s. Baudelaire was one of the most important French poets in the nineteenth century, and Duellum was one of his top writings. Since his writing was also in French, several American poets have attempted to translate his works. However, a translation titled "Duel", interpreted by Keith Waldrop, is superior to other translations by Roy Campbell, William Aggeler, Jacques LeClerecq, Anthony Hecht, and Keith Waldrop. With the exception of the original "Duellum", Keith Waldrop best emphasized major poetic devices in this poem including metaphors, apostrophe and similes. But most importantly, this translation is easy to read. Waldrop’s version of “Duellum” was not in the systematic form of poetry that people are accustomed to in today’s time. It is a prose poem, which lacks line breaks but essentially reads like poetry. There are no line breaks, which makes it easier for people who struggle understanding poems in their basic form. The very first sentence truly grabs the reader when Waldrop says “the air around them chock with blood and sparks from their weapons” (paragraph 1). The poem is about 2 warriors fencing for their lives in an epic battle, and Waldrop really put emphasis in the battle to make it sound like the fight for the ages. Similes,…
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