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Be Drunk

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 drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace
or the green grass ofa 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 .”


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