To a Woman Passing By

This week, the subject of Illustration Friday website is mysterious. I have searched what it could evoke me and soon the poem “To a Woman Passing By” by French poet Baudelaire has started resonating in my head. I have drawn my vision of this poem. On a Paris street, at the very moment the poet’s eyes meet the captivating eyes of a stranger, he falls in love.

mysterious passer-by

To a Woman Passing By

The deafening road around me roared.
Tall, slim, in deep mourning, making majestic grief,
A woman passed, lifting and swinging
With a pompous gesture the ornamental hem of her garment,

Swift and noble, with statuesque limb.
As for me, I drank, twitching like an old roué,
From her eye, livid sky where the hurricane is born,
The softness that fascinates and the pleasure that kills,

A gleam… then night! O fleeting beauty,
Your glance has given me sudden rebirth,
Shall I see you again only in eternity?

Somewhere else, very far from here! Too late! Perhaps never!
For I do not know where you flee, nor you where I am going,
O you whom I would have loved, O you who knew it!

Charles Baudelaire (translation by Geoffrey Wagner)

Version française

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