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(9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867 / Paris)

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Be Drunk

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."

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003


Read poems about / on: poetry, solitude, star, sometimes, wind, green, time

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Comments about this poem (Bohémiens En Voyage (Gypsies On The Road) by Charles Baudelaire )

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  • John S (5/16/2013 4:11:00 AM)

    Be drunk on wine, poetry, or virtue as you wish (or in today's modern age: be drunk on movies, video games, e-books etc.) 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.
    How true. Escape your worries of death, money, old age, disease, the monotony of work, and be intoxicated by that which puts passion in your life.

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  • Ms Acras (8/11/2009 2:54:00 AM)

    everything that is flying, everything
    that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is
    singing, everything that is speaking

    That is me drunk on passion. To be so moved by a dead man is nearly necrophilia.

  • gone gone (11/12/2006)

    so true......beautifully put, , , , ,

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