Get Drunk by Charles Baudelaire

French poet Charles Baudelaire may be best known for his collection The Flowers of Evil, a great work of 19th century poetry. While not part of that collection, Baudelaire’s “Get Drunk” is a wonderful poem that celebrates the idea of living an intoxicated life. Whether you live intoxicated on wine, poetry, virtue, or whatever else doesn’t matter much.

 

Get 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!”

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: A Drinking Song by W.B. Yeats | onepagecloser

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