Les Fenetres comments:

"Les Fenetres" is a true story.  It is a trou story.  It is a hole story.  And it is a whole story.  It is a completely trou story.

Baudelaire liked to tell true stories.  All his poems are true.  You can count on him to tell the true story of a cygne, a beautiful bird and a sign of flowering evil.  

The being in the window is real.  She is true to the trou story reel.  A new reality where truth is ugly needs a new poetry to match.  "Les Fenetres" offers the catch of Elizabeth Bishop's "The Fish" with a splash of modernity.  

Baudelaire does not write stories of historical fact, he writes trou stories, true stories as a matter of fact.  Keeping things whole to keep things true.  

 Les Fenêtres (The Windows)
​By Charles Baudelaire
​Translated by Allen Hagar


The one who looks out upon the open Sea never sees as much as the one who looks at a window closed.  There is not an object more profound, more mysterious, more fecund, more tenebrous, more dazzling than such a window lit by a single candle.  That which one sees by the light of day is always less interesting than that which happens behind such a pane.  In this true dark or luminous whole, life lives, life dreams and life suffers.

Beyond a sea of eaves an old woman I perceive, already wrinkled, poor, for days always examining something (I do believe) and who never leaves.  With her face, her clothes, a gesture, with almost rien, I have remade her history, or rather her legend, and sometimes I recount it to myself while weeping.

If this had been a poor old man, I would have remade his just as easily.

And I go to bed, proud to have said I have lived and suffered more for others than myself.

Perhaps you will say to me:  “Are you sure this legend will set us free?”  Agreed.  Does it matter what may be the world's true reality, if she helped me to be, to feel I follow is what I am; un être dans les fenêtres?