Baudelaire's prose poem "Les Bienfaits de la Lune" is dated 1863. Most critics restrict their commentary of this poem to the fact that the poet was thinking of the young girl, Berthe, of the poem "Les Yeux de Berthe"; Henri Lemaître and Jacques Crépet see a striking similarity between the young girl in "Bienfaits" and the one in a later prose poem, "La Soupe et les Nuages." According to F. W. Leakey, the poet's choice of the Moon as the mythological bestower of gifts might well be so because of the poet's "personal mythology." The interpretation of "Bienfaits," however, contains a great deal more of the history of Baudelaire's personal conflicts at this period of his life.



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