Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet known for his erotic verses. He made immense contributions to the growth of modern French poetry.
Get Drunk is a poem written in prose style. In this poem, Baudelaire exposes his state of mind to the readers. This poem explores the themes of individual freedom and the subjective nature of morality.
He uses the terms get drunk to indicate the freedom explored by a drunkard. He attempts to create a general feeling in which people should live in the present.
The poet presents a philosophy where one finds his ways of happiness. He feels it is a common need. Happiness is a need, and its ways are subjective. The poet never emphasizes a single method of attaining happiness instead he gives choices.
The writer also emphasizes the indispensable role of passion in life.
An Epicurean reading of the poem can never give the complete sense of the poem as the poem also focuses upon the theme of commitment.
He advises his readers to be intoxicated by wine, poetry, or virtue. He feels that time has an overwhelming impact on everything.
He uses ‘intoxication’ as an opportunity to forget about the overwhelming impact of time. He feels that everything is either directly or indirectly steered by time.
Readers can find connotations about death. He writes ” 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… “
Poet emphasizes his idea of being intoxicated by repeatedly saying “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 virtue as you wish”. He requests his readers to pick one of the options as per their interest. As a poet, he prefers poetry itself as the best source of intoxication which indicates his commitment to literature.
Read more inspirational poems here
Read the full poem below.
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.”
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