Sunday, 3 January 2010

DRUNK -An interpretation of Baudelaire's prose poem, The Drunken Song by Brian Patten

Well it's the time of year where once again I contemplate sobriety, never again I cry, but with my shaking hand wavering thought i'd quickly post this little ode to drunkeness, still searching out the hidden meanings between words, salute

People are sober as cemetery stones!
They should be drunk!
We should all be drunk!
Look, it's nearly night time and the sober news
Comes dribbling out of television sets -
It should be drunken news,
If only it were drunken news!
Only festivals to report and the sombre death
of one ancient daisy.
It's time toget drunk, surely it's time?
Little else matters;
Sober the years twist you up,
Sober the days crawl by ugly and hunched and your soul-
it becomes like a stick insect!

I've spent so much time in the company of sober and
respectable men,
And I learned how each sober thought is an obstacle laid
between us and paradise.
We need to wash their words away,
we need to be drunk, to dance in the certainty
that drunkeness is right.

So come on, let's get drunk,
let's instigate something!
Let's get drunk on whatever we want-
on songs, on sex, on dancing,
on tulip juice or meditations,
it doesn't matter what-
but no soberness, not that!
It's obscene!
When everything you deluded yourself you wanted has gone
you can get drunk on the loss,
when you've rid yourself of the need for those things back
then you will be light,
you will be truly drunk.

For everything not tied down is drunk-
boats and balloons, aeroplanes and stars-
all drunk.
And the morning steams with hangovers,
and the clouds are giddy
and beneath them swallows swoop, drunk,
and flowers stagger about on their stems
drunk on the wind.

Everything in Heaven's too drunk to remember hell.

And the best mosters are drunken monsters,
trembling and dreamig of beanstalks
too high for sober Jack to climb,
and the best tightrope walkers are drunken tightrope walkers,
a bottle in each hand they stagger above the net made
of the audience's wish for them to fall.

Drunk, I've navigated my way home by the blurry stars,
I've been drunk on the future's possibilities
and drunk on its certainties,
and on all its improbabilities I've been so drunk
that logic finally surrendered.

So come on
no matter what time it is
no matter where it is
in the room you hate
in the green ditch bloated with spring,
beside the river that flows
with its million little tributaries
into a million little graves
it doesn't matter-
it's time to get drunk.

If one night of oblivion can wash away
all the petty heartache then fine,
reach for the ancient medicine.

And if you wake from drunkeness
don't think too much about it,
don't stop to think.
Don't bother asking clocks what time it is,
don't bother asking anything that escapes from time
what time it is,
for it will tell you as it runs,
leap-frogging over all obstacles,
Why idiot, don't you know? It's time to get drunk!
Time not to be the prisoner of boredom
or cemetery stones!
Be drunk on what you want,
Be drunk on anything, anything at all
but please-
Understand the true meaning of drunkeness!

FROM:-Grave Gossip,
Brian Patten;
Unwin Paperbacks 1979

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