Charles Baudelaire falls into the category of late 19th century prose poetry. He participates in a lengthy tradition of classical poetry which is characterized by political, theological, and romantic topics. With his unconventional and direct approach, he inspired other poets in his generation such as Paul Verlaine and Stephane Mallarme. In addition to poetry he is known for his critical essays and his translations of Edgar Allan Poe's work.
As can be assumed based upon his chosen work, Baudelaire possesses a fascination with the dark and evil nature of humanity, often reflecting on the depravity of the human race. He identifies the secret corners of civilization where corruption and temptation flourish, especially inside the human soul. Poems like "Destruction" and "Spleen" attest to Baudelaire's judgement upon the human race and to his own struggle with internal evil. Whether or not he approves of actions which are morally ambiguous or even downright unacceptable, he seems to have a certain knack for identifying those things within society and throughout history.
In addition to his passion for men's depravity, Baudelaire writes romantic poetry. He participates in the genre of classical poetry which includes mythological references, romantic love, and high regard for the natural world. His paramount piece in this category is "The Fountain" in which a lover muses about his beloved's accomplishments and beauty in light of their inevitable disintegration. Baudelaire cannot seem to avoid addressing the temporary nature of life and mankind's inventions. As if struggling to make sense of his own death, he fills his poems with contemplations of death and time. That is the true romantic element of his work, the one which inspired other poets of his generation to revive classical poetry in light of their own time period.