16 November 2011

Get yourself drunk!

I've never been in favor of excessive drinking, but this poem touched me on a different level, making me realise that it involved more than just plain drunkenness. There is a certain melancholy about it, something inevitable and self-absorbing that clings to it and doesn't leave you again. I find it beautiful somehow. In relation to being drunk with movies; talking about them, "living" in them, I understand its meaning. It portays a crushing, timeless truth about life, time and human nature in their essence; a truth about our weaknesses, our hunger for stimulants, intoxication and moments of oblivion whether it comes from the media, food, materials, power and certain strong feelings like love and hate etc. - to name a few.


GET YOURSELF DRUNK

by Charles Baudelaire

"Be always drunken.
Nothing else matters:
that is the only question.
If you would not feel
the horrible burden of Time
weighing on your shoulders
and crushing you to the earth,
be drunken continually.

Drunken with what?
With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you wish.
But be drunken.
And if sometimes,
on the stairs of a palace,
or on the green side of a ditch,
or in the dreary solitude of your own room,
you should awaken
and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you,
ask of the wind,
or of the wave,
or of the star,
or of the bird,
or of the clock,
of whatever flies,
or sighs,
or rocks,
or sings,
or speaks,
ask what hour it is;
and the wind,
wave,
star,
bird,
clock will answer you:
"It is the hour to be drunken!
To escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk.
On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish."

(1896)

1 comment:

  1. Oh - Charles Baudelaire.. great poet! Thank you for posting this!

    ReplyDelete