Be Drunk…

In researching one scene for this book I was hunting for a piece of poetry. I knew I wanted the poet to be French but I have no real other clues except that I wanted it to be lavish and maybe a bit melancholy, neither a stretch for French poets. I ran across this one by Baudelaire and while it didn’t suit the need of the character in the book it was something I thought worth tossing your way while you wait for me to come to my senses and finish this month of novel writing. Hope it serves.

Be Drunk

“Always be drunk.

That’s it!

The great imperative!

In order not to feel

Time’s horrid fardel

bruise your shoulders,

grinding you into the earth,

Get drunk and stay that way.

On what?

On  wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.

But get drunk.

And if you sometimes happen to wake up

on the porches of a palace,

in the green grass of a ditch,

in the dismal loneliness of your own room,

your drunkenness gone or disappearing,

ask the wind,

the wave,

the star,

the bird,

the clock,

ask everything that flees,

everything that groans

or rolls

or sings,

everything that speaks,

ask what time it is;

and the wind,

the wave,

the star,

the bird,

the clock

will answer you:

“Time to get drunk!

Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,

Get drunk!

Stay drunk!

On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!”

Charles Baudelaire

1 thought on “Be Drunk…

  1. Yes, Drunk. I had not read this one by Baudelaire -thank you. “Time’s horrid fardel..” Before I read longer, more complex poetry I was hooked on Hafiz and Rumi (still am 🙂 ) A Rumi: I am so drunk/ I have lost the way in / and the way out. / I have lost the earth, the moon, and the / sky. / Don’t put another cup of wine in my / hand, / pour it in my mouth, / for I have lost the way to my mouth. Have a great final week of wrapping that novel home.

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