Looking from outside into an open window one never sees as much as when one looks through a closed window. There is nothing more profound, more mysterious, more pregnant, more insidious, more dazzling than a window lighted by a single candle. What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what goes on behind a windowpane. In that black or luminous square life lives, life dreams, life suffers.

Across the ocean of roofs I can see a middle-aged woman, her face already lined, who is forever bending over something and who never goes out. Out of her face, her dress, and her gestures, out of practically nothing at all, I have made up this woman’s story, or rather legend, and sometimes I tell it to myself and weep.

If it had been an old man I could have made up his just the same.

And I go to bed proud to have lived and to have suffered in some one besides myself.

Perhaps you are asking, “Are you sure that your story is the real one?” But what does it matter what reality is outside myself, so long as it has helped me to live, to feel that I am, and what I am?

Original poem by Charles Baudelaire


Joke to Sonnet

A man walks into a bar with a giraffe. He says, “A beer for me and one for my giraffe.” And they stand around drinking for hours until the giraffe passes out on the floor. The man pays the tab and gets up to leave. The bartender says, “Hey! You’re not going to leave that lyin’ on the floor, are you?” The man says, “That’s not a lion, it’s a giraffe.”

Once a gentleman arrived at a bar

In the company of a grand giraffe.

They’d walked, for want of a spacious ‘nuff car,

And now both sought to imbibe a carafe.

“Some booze for me and my friend, good shop keep!”

Sang the man, though his voice was depleted.

Two large drinks were soon served, and though not cheap,

They were gulped and the order repeated.

The giraffe, after hours of drinking,

Fell to the floor, so the man paid the tab,

And to the front door he started slinking,

‘Til the angry barkeep stopped him to gab.

“Don’t leave that lyin’ there! What, are you daft?!”

“Tis no lion,” said he, “But a giraffe.”