The Soup and the Clouds by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Lola Haskins


My foolish little love gave me dinner, and through the open
window of the dining room I reflected on the moving architectures
God has made with vapors, those wonderful constructions of the
impalpable. And in the course of my contemplations I said to
myself: All those phantasmagoria are almost as beautiful as the
eyes of my beloved, my crazy little green-eyed beast.


Then, all of a sudden, I felt a violent punch on my back, and I
heard a hoarse and charming voice, an hysterical and brandy-
rasped voice, the voice of my dear little beloved, who said: Are
you going to eat your soup or not, you stupid cloud-monger?


Lola Haskins’ translations have appeared in Subtropics, Blue Lyra and Rowboat. Her own poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, The London Review of Books, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Rattle and elsewhere. Her most recent collection is The Grace to Leave (Anhinga, 2012). Among her awards are two Florida book awards, the Iowa Poetry Prize, four Florida writing fellowships, two NEAs, two narrative poetry prizes, and the Emily Dickinson/Writer Magazine Award from The Poetry Society of America. Retired from teaching Computer Science, she is now on the faculty of Rainier Writer’s Workshop, a low residency MFA program. She will be Writer in Residence at Zion National Park in March, 2015. For more information, please visit her at