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Les Flers du Mal, translated as The Flowers of Evil (first published in 1857), originally condemned as obscene, is recognized as a masterpiece, especially remarkable for the brilliant phrasing, rhythm, and expressiveness of its lyrics.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) was one of the greatest French poets of the 19th century. His work has been a major influence on Western poetry and modern poetry in general as, thematically, he was one of the first poets whose subject was often urban life and its dark side, with all of its evils and the degradation of its temptations. His poems, classical in form, introduced Symbolism, he is also known as a writer of the Decadent group.
Baudelaire was moody and rebellious, imbued with an intense religious mysticism, and his work reflects an unremitting inner despair. His main theme is the inseparable nature of beauty and corruption.