Sunday, November 03, 2013

On Wine, On Poetry...

—Charles Baudelaire

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

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, every-
thing 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."

(trans. from the French by Louis Simpson) 


—Medusa (be sure to set your clocks back!)