Le Spleen de Paris

Ranked #181 on the list Best Poem of All Time

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Le Spleen de Paris, also known as Paris Spleen or Petits Poèmes en prose, is a collection of 51 short prose poems by Charles Baudelaire. The collection was published posthumously in 1869 (see 1869) by Baudelaire's sister, and is associated with the modernist literary movement. Baudelaire mentions he had read Aloysius Bertrand's Gaspard de la nuit (considered the first example of prose poetry) at least twenty times before starting this work. Though inspired by Bertrand, Baudelaire's prose poems were based on Parisian contemporary life instead of the medieval background which Bertrand employed. He told about his work: "These are the flowers of evil again, but with more freedom, much more detail, and much more mockery." Indeed, many of the themes and even titles from Baudelaire's earlier collection Les Fleurs du mal are revisited in this work. These poems have no particular order, have no beginning and no end and they can be read like thoughts or short stories in a stream of consciousness style. The point of the poems is "to capture the beauty of life in the modern city," using what Jean-Paul Sartre has labeled as being his existential outlook on his surroundings. Written twenty years

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