In Praise of Alcohol

I’ve been noticing a lot of poetry going on in my reader lately. Maybe I should join in the poetry slam. πŸ˜‰

I can’t say I’m a big fan of poetry, but I do like some of it, sometimes. I especially like (dirty) limericks. πŸ˜‰

As for ‘real’ poetry, one of my favorite poets has always been Robert W. Service.

He had an interesting life. Grew up in Scotland, moved to Canada. Then Alaska, where he became famous as the “Bard of the Yukon”.

He wrote about the people he met in his travels. He managed to get the most incredible characters to come to life in his poetry. His poems ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and the “Cremation of Sam McGee” are still considered classics.

I remember an old friend from Florida would dress up and recite some of these poems at parties I used to go to. KC was a character himself and did a great job of rousting us all up. I miss those days.

I like a lot of his poems. I have his book “Collected Poems of Robert Service”. I liked it a lot. Some of his poems are really great stories. Here’s a short one.

 

In Praise of Alcohol
Of vintage wine I am a lover;
To drink deep would be my delight;
If ’twere not for the bleak hangover
I’d get me loaded every night;
I’d whoop it up with song and laughter –
If ’twere not for the morning after.

For though to soberness I’m given
It is a thought I’ve often thunk:
The nearest that is Earth to Heaven
Is to get sublimely drunk;
Is to achieve divine elation
By means of generous libation.

Alas, the wine-cups claim their payment
And as the price if often pain,
if we could sense what morning grey meant
We never would get soused again;
Rather than buy a hob-nailed liver
I’m sure that we’d abstain for ever.

Yet how I love the glow of liquor,
As joyfully I drink it up!
hoping that unto life’s last flicker
With praise I’ll raise the ruby cup;
And let me like a jolly monk
Proceed to get sublimely drunk.

 

Author Notes

FromΒ Later Collected VerseΒ by Robert W. Service (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1965), page 421.

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