The Party Girl Challenge, One Year Sober

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Be Drunk

Be Drunk
by Charles Baudelaire
translated by Louis Simpson

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.”

(personally I don’t think this poem has anything to do with alcohol…what do you think?)

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2 thoughts on “Be Drunk

  1. Rhonda Geske on said:

    I’m not sure I get it. I don’t think it has anything to do with alcohol either. Maybe it’s time to appreciate every moment, drinking it in..drunk on life perhaps??

  2. I think it means that you must stay perpetually drunk on life…wine being one way to be drunk…but also drunk on poetry (art) or virtue (behavior/desire). I think its about maintaining your zest for life, your excitement and passion or life becomes too heavy to bear. Don’t sit around watching the clock tick, make your life exciting. I always imagine original French version has a much more obvious and deep meaning…

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