One should always be drunk. That's the great thing; the only question. Not to feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and bowing you to the earth, you should be drunk without respite.
Drunk with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue as you please. But get drunk.
And if sometimes you should happen to awake, on the stairs of a palace, on the green grass of a ditch, in the dreary solitude of your own room, and find that your drunkenness is ebbing or has vanished, as the wind and the wave, ask star, bird, or clock, ask everything that flies, everything that moans, everything that sings, everything that speaks, aske them the time; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird and the clock will all reply: "It is Time to get drunk! If you are not to be the martyred slaves of Time, be perpetually drunk! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you please."
|Picture Likely Public Domain, Found Here|
The poem has all the elements of high-brow libertinism for aspiring authors who want to get drunk not only from flowing wine but from words flowing from their fingertips. So GET DRUNK! Start right now!
Recently I have been reading a bit of Heinlein, mainly "The Man From Mars," and this fits in with the part of the book I have just read. Mike, the man from mars, finally "grocked" mankind. To "grock" something is to "intimately and completely share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity" according to Wikipedia. The man from mars "grocked" laughter and therefore "grocked" humanity in the process. He discovered that we laugh because it is the only way we can bear bad things. We don't laugh at the good but the bad. The laughing becomes the good but it is not a result of good.
So too we have this Baudelaire poem. Some things are quite unbearable without drinking. The drink does not have to be alcoholic though alcohol is a good source of relief. It must be a drink from something intoxicating. Love, life, ideas, competition, and yes.. alcohol. ANYTHING intoxicating.
Not everything in life will always be intoxicating. Some parts of life will be a brutal struggle. Despite this, though, I have the feeling that even the struggle can be a form of intoxication if dealt with correctly. You decide!