Friday, 15 May 2009

be drunk

Il faut être toujours ivre, tout est là; c'est l'unique question. Pour ne pas sentir l'horrible fardeau du temps qui brise vos épaules et vous penche vers la terre, il faut vous enivrer sans trêve.

Mais de quoi? De vin, de poésie, ou de vertu à votre guise, mais enivrez-vous!

Et si quelquefois, sur les marches d'un palais, sur l'herbe verte d'un fossé, vous vous réveillez, l'ivresse déjà diminuée ou disparue, demandez au vent, à la vague, à l'étoile, à l'oiseau, à l'horloge; à tout ce qui fuit, à tout ce qui gémit, à tout ce qui roule, à tout ce qui chante, à tout ce qui parle, demandez quelle heure il est. Et le vent, la vague, l'étoile, l'oiseau, l'horloge, vous répondront, il est l'heure de s'enivrer ; pour ne pas être les esclaves martyrisés du temps, enivrez-vous, enivrez-vous sans cesse de vin, de poésie, de vertu, à votre guise.


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 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".

Be Drunk
Trans. by Louis Simpson


  1. Je rajoute que avec Charles Baudelaire, il était un être très pessimiste, il a exprimé la mélancolie, les Petits poèmes en prose son une petite merveille. Baudelaire disais n'éprouve le plus souvent que le dégoût pour la multitude vile . Ce qui le frappe surtout, c'est l'égoïsme et la méchanceté des créatures humaines, certes il avait raison ivre donne cette oublie de la réalité de la souffrance dans des épisodes de notre existence. Le vin comme ivresse une intoxication plus ou moins aiguë due à l'ingestion d'alcool ; il faut éviter Celle qui en est de manière chronique sera désignée comme alcoolique. Alors tu aime le bon vin, blanc ou rouge….La photo donne dans le rouge couleur du cœur dans cette sensation de Baudelaire .Ou je vivais à Paris juste à côté du cimetière de Montparnasse.

  2. Like.. there is a joy in being drunk that only drunkards know?

  3. i wonder what 'drunk' would mean, in this case

    like soaked
    like surrender
    like giving up control
    like being lost

    thank you

  4. A lovely gleam of the right wildness in these photos, in their coming forward out of the black, and in this stubborn passion to intensify the moment, to be always alive now ... and now....

  5. Hello

    Your spring pictures are quite compelling. I normally don't look at the countryside in any season without imagining some dark crime being committed, blood, gore, deception and heartbreak. But even the feel-good quality of your pictures does not detract from their merit.

    Re your drunk pictures, i find the Baudelaire text that accompanies it as a distraction. I think the hair shades the face and the eyes, the hair drunk everything?

    I hope you are well.

  6. ah, Allan, maintenant tu parles comme un medecin :-) bien sur, un medecin qui aime Baudelaire! mais non, ne te fais pas de soucis, au fait je ne bois pas du tout :-) mais j'aime cet etat qu'on pourait appeler "ivre", et la metaphore du vin... toutes les connotations que cela implique.

    tu as vecu a Paris?

  7. Dave :-) i would say so, i think, if all the great drunkards of history tell the same story... i can't tell about wine though, because i don't drink, but being drunk on taking photos, oh yes, this i know... plus on another small number of things :-)

  8. yes, Manu, like all this... i could go on with that list myself, but the essence is there.

  9. James! how i like the way you play with the words

    gleam of the right wildness, stubborn passion

    (i almost forget it is my pictures you are talking about :-)

    but no surprise, as a poet you must be drunk on words, no? :-) letting them melt on your tongue...

  10. Edith!!!! :-)

    cele din seara asta nu o sa-ti mai placa asa mult, ca o sa fie in culori vii :-)

  11. hi Kubla, i hope you are well too? i haven't stopped coming to your page, you know that, don't you? there is still the secret hope you will resume writing...

    yes, i know what you mean, about the countryside... i hadn't expected you to look at them though, i know you don't like landscapes...

    and what can i do, i cannot solve this problem of the tension between text and image for you, you need only the images, i know that... but that's not hair like a veil on her face, it is vapour... let's say - opium, to go hand in hand with that Baudelaire you didn't like :-)

    (it is smoke from incense, actually)

  12. I adore this piece by Baudelaire. More importantly, I love your treatment of this work. Just gorgeous.

  13. thank you, dark S., i was sure you would like this Baudelaire...

  14. manifestos: your pictures, the text

  15. i don't know what happened, a couple of messages have only now appeared in my dashboard, even if they are older - yes, Prospero, indeed they are.