5 Great Poems About Drinking

Here are 5 great poems about drinking for a Saturday night.
[Collected by Regina Kenney]


Get Drunk 

by Charles Baudelaire

Always be drunk. That’s it. The great imperative. In order not to feel the horrible burden of Time bruise your shoulders, grinding you into the earth, Get drunk and stay drunk.  But on what? On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever. But get drunk.

And if you sometimes happen to wake up on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch, in the dismal loneliness of your own room, your drunkenness gone or disappearing, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird,
the clock, ask everything that flees, everything that groans or rolls
or sings, everything that speaks, ask what time it is;

And the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will answer you:

“Time to get drunk! In order to not be martyred slaves of Time, Get drunk and stay drunk. On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever.


I taste a liquor never brewed 

by Emily Dickinson

I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro’ endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –

When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door –
When Butterflies – renounce their “drams” –
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the – Sun!


A Drinking Song Related Poem Content Details

by William Butler Yeats

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.



In the Tavern

by Hristo Botev

It’s hard, it’s hard, so give me wine.
Drunk, I can forget the face
the thing you fools cannot define:
where lies glory – and disgrace.

Forget the country of my birth,
my father’s dear homely nest,
and those whose souls were never curbed,
whose fighting soul was their bequest.

Forget my family in their need,
my father’s grave, my mother’s tears,
and those who’d steal a crust of bread
with all the aristocratic airs.

The rich man with his crookedness,
the merchant thirsting for his plunder,
the priest reciting holy mass,
rob from the people who must hunger.

Rob them. All you wanton band.
Rob them. Who will make a fuss?
Soon they’ll be too tight to stand:
every hand holds up a glass.

We drink, we sing with recklessness,
we snarl against the tyrant foe,
the taverns are too small for us –
we shout: “To the mountains we shall.

We shout, but when we’re sober
we forget our pledges and our phrases
and say no more, and roar with laughter
at the people’s sacrifices.

While all the time the tyrant rages
and ravages our native home,
slaughters, hangs and flogs and curses
then fines the people he has tamed.

So fill the glass and let me drink.
Bring my soul its soothing gift
and kill the sober way I think
and let my manly hand grow soft.

I’ll drink, despite the enemy,
despite all you, great patriots.
There’s nothing near and dear to me,
and you… well. you are idiots.




by Joel Brouwer

The Stoli bottle’s frost melts to brilliance where I press my fingers. Evidence. Proof I’m here, drunk in your lamplit kitchen, breathing up your rented air, no intention of leaving. Our lust squats blunt as a brick on the table between us. We’re low on vocabulary. We’re vodkaquiet. Vodkadeliquescent. Vodka doesn’t like theatrics: it walks into your midnight bedroom already naked, slips in beside you, takes your shoulders in its icy hands and shoves. Is that a burglar at the window? No, he lives with me, actually. Well, let him in for Christ’s sake, let’s actually get this over with.




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