For Cubs Fans: Charles Baudelaire’s “Always Be Drunk”

The Cubs fan in his natural setting.

Since the establishment of this weblog by Kool Keith and Oscar Wilde at a Golden Corral in 1971, it is has been the editorial objective — above all others — to provide such work as to assist the reader along his horrible, forlorn journey from day to night.

In the tradition of that singular effort, the author presents the following translation — largely for the benefit of Chicago Cubs fans, who continue to finds themselves on intimate terms with misery — of very dead French poet Charles Baudelaire’s Envirez-Vous, or Be Drunk.

“But Carson Magnanimous Cistulli,” perhaps the reader is saying, “isn’t it obvious, just by looking at every single one of them, that Cubs fans are on equally intimate terms with drunkeness as they are with misery?” To which hypothetical comment the author replies: “Yes, but now they have the benefit of knowing one French poem, as well.”

Now, regard Baudelaire’s work, from the collection known as Paris Spleen and translated by Louis Simpson:

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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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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John Paschal


I feel much, much better about the six whiskey sours I had for breakfast this morning.

So much better, in fact, that I think I’ll have another.


I prefer the translation “Be you drunk ceaselessly.”