I am so in love with this poem and although it isn’t new; I feel as if it’s a newly discovered piece. In the back of my head when I’m writing, I repeat the Hemingway mantra “Write drunk, edit sober” and I think that is part of the appeal of this poem. I know others who think I’m crazy when I say that I write drunk but that’s how creating new poems, fiction and essays makes me feel. It’s like I’m tipsy and ready to step off the curb to sing drunk in the streets. I hope that you all enjoy this poem and are celebrating the month.
You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.
But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”
-Charles Baudelaire, 1821 – 1867
Courtesy of poets.org