You — hypocrite Reader — my double — my brother!
In this prefatory poem to Flowers of Evil, Baudelaire makes the reader complicit in the “indecency” that follows and that would lead to several of the works in the collection being censored from later editions. The judges in his trial for offense to religious morality claimed that some of his poems:
necessarily lead to the excitement of the senses by a crude realism offensive to public decency
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “To The Reader (trans. by Robert Lowell)” by Charles Baudelaire and leave a comment on the lyrics box