Coleridge ate opium

and the druggies

all drool

with false vindication


as, because, if

you really think

about it



is not justified

by poetry


only prettied up

and sweetened

with saccharine


a falseness,

the depths of which,

Í can not even



I do not

even try to



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Januarian's picture

That is very astute

That is very astute reasoning---about druggies appealing to the example of Coleridge as justification:  when I was an undergrad, I heard several English majors, who happened to be druggies, state that exact argument.  But Bukowski was a drunk, Pound was drunk on his own perception of his greatness, and Howard Nemereov, whom I met when he came to read at our school, described during that reading how he got drunk in his motel room the night before, as if made him some kind of poet.  If I recall correctly, Pop Stevens complained about how Poetry was sullied by certain poets who were academics and addicts of some sort or another; he thought they were"kept men" and that they were owned by their addictions.  


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georgeschaefer's picture

Too many people that read the

Too many people that read the biography of Jim Morrison came away with the notion that taking drugs and acting like an asshole would transform them into poets.  You can take drugs and act like an asshole and still be a poet but there is a lot of discipline and endeavor involved.

Januarian's picture

I learned a valuable lesson

I learned a valuable lesson in 1976, when I first wanted to be a poet.  In a mini series about the life of that French lady who wrote novels under the name of George Sand, her lover, the poet Alfred de Musset, talked about spending all day smoking opium and drinking champaigne, to write one line of poetry; then said, "George stays up all night, drinks three cups of coffee, and writes one fifth of a novel."  A lot of wannabes could learn a few lessons from the novelist once characterized as "that awful Sand woman."


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