Correspondences Summary
by Charles Baudelaire

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Correspondences Summary

The speaker first praises nature as an object of great reverence and worship. The speaker insists that often times, nature gives voice to words that are vague and difficult to understand. It is said that when man wanders through this great temple of nature, each individual piece of it is watching him. The feeling is familiar and understanding.

The speaker goes on to say that the root of everything in nature is perfect harmony. Sights, sounds, smells and even textures mix together to form a beautiful sensory experience for one that is keen enough to perceive it. Smells can remind one of fiddles and meadows. They are all infinite, beautiful things that put the soul in a state of bliss and wonder.


The speaker discusses nature as something divine, and he says that nature transmits messages to us (though those messages are vague and must be interpreted). We require each other, our poets, to translate these symbols so that they become more easily understood. Our senses can seem to mix so that all sensory information comes to us at once, as a part of a unison of smells, sounds, and colors. Odors can remind us of the music of violins or the sight of fresh, green meadows. Other odors can do the reverse: imparting corruption rather than images of purity and innocence. Some odors, like frankincense and myrrh, can evoke messages concerning both the body (something finite) and the soul (something infinite).