Whatever you think of his poetry (not reading French, I must make do with translations) or his views on life in general, the greatness of Charles Baudelaire (born 189 years ago today) cannot be denied. And I find the above photo is absolutely mesmerising; a face that has peered into the abyss and reported back what it saw.
Tristesses de la Lune [Sorrows of the Moon]The moon tonight dreams vacantly, as ifShe were a beauty cushioned at her restWho strokes with wandering hand her liftingNipples, and the contours of her breast;Lying as if for love, glazed by the softLuxurious avalanche, dying in swoons,She turns her eyes to visions - clouds aloftBillowing hugely, blossoming in blue.When sometimes from her stupefying calmOnto this earth she drops a furtive tearPale as an opal, iridescent, rare,The poet, sleepless watchmen, is the oneTo take it up within his hollowed palmAnd in his heart to hide it from the sun.
[From Les Fleurs Du Mal (first published in 1857), translated by James McGowan and published by Spoon River Poetry Press in 1985. McGowan's edition is well worth seeking out; his translations are quite free in regard to the originals, I believe, but capture wonderfully what I understand to be Baudelaire's spirit.]